This year (2017) marked a milestone for Extant as an organisation, celebrating the span of two decades' worth of performance-making and experimentation.
Watch the short fun trailer below of our 20th anniversary film, created by Braunarts.
You can also listen to our special podcast episode with interviews and highlights from the night here.
Continue on for a range of images and quotes from our 20th anniversary event, held in November 2017 at the Cinema Museum in Kennington!
Maria – thanks so much for sending me the finished film. Have just watched it – it is great! Such a terrific celebration of the company and its incredible work. And I loved the jokes! Wonderful, all of it. It must have been a great and exuberant evening - richly deserved and appropriate for a company doing such amazing things.
My congrats and continued support
Wow Maria…I think that was the best party by an arts organisation ever. The venue was excellent and the love in the room really beautiful how fitting to launch a fund for Tim also. I also find it bonkers that you're 20 years in, I’m beginning to feel quite an ol’ scenester.
Paul Bonham, Arts Council
I sat beside Maria in 1997 at a Graeae event [...] the workshop that unfolded left both myself and this interesting blind woman next to me in a state of giggles...and this is how I met Maria Oshodi. We ended up with a rose between us and a continued amount of laughter. I went back to Canada and she and I carried on contact via e mail. She told me of her vision, sorry for the phrase, of launching a company for Blind theatre artists. Well, she did it and she not only launched it but she drove it, steered it, swerved it and welcomed so many on board for the ride.
[...] I am proud to be blind and a part of such a ground-breaking and vital part of theatre in the UK. I am proud to call Maria a friend and someone who has reminded me always of the importance of remaining thoughtful and holding to integrity despite challenges we face.
Happy Birthday Extant and congratulations to all who have been part of this great cultural history.
It was such a good 20th bash. So many great people there…I had a lovely time chatting to people, some of them old friends and some of them new to me. Congratulations on 20 years of groundbreaking and passionate work.
There was a really great energy in the room last Thursday night.
Was lovely to be there.
Congrats on 20 years.
Damon Rose - BBC
My thoughts were with you and the celebration of Extant. You have worked diligently over the years to give a voice to the artistic endeavours of visually impaired artists and have also touched the lives of many other visually impaired people in our community through recreational and educational workshops.
I'm sure that a good time was had by all…and here's a virtual toast to Extant!
I expect you are still dancing and talking the night away as I type this from my bed, but… I just wanted to say thank-you to you, and all your team, for a really good evening. A lovely energy and spirit in what I thought was just such a fab venue for the venue. Of course thank-you too for the work that you have put into Extant over the past 20 years and what Extant has added to the overall arts ecology in this country.
Very well done on a great event – Fab venue – Fab access workers - Fab speeches… and brilliant audio voice prompt on where the accessible loo was – Be very proud!
Really good to catch up and hear about all the good work that Extant has done for the past 20 years. Also was really nice to hear about Tim’s work with you all too and hear some great stories about him and dry wit! I made it home eventually. Thanks for the orientation and mobility in getting me safely back on the Northern Line!
Barry - Guide Dogs
What a super event last night. Thank you so much for gathering the great and good of the VI arts network. Super to see so many people and was really touched to hear about Tim’s bursary – fantastic. I caught up with some people I hadn’t seen in a long time!
It was a lovely evening and loads of congratulations to you, such a great achievement, I remember when you first started extant and showed me the new logo!
I really enjoyed meeting Janee again - haven't seen her for over 20 yrs!
It was a great party, Jean and I had a great time, what an amazing venue, well done!
Ian Jentle – trustee
Thank you so much for such a brilliant night. I’m really proud of what has been achieved – It was an excellent event and so wonderful to see so many people I haven’t seen for ages. Everyone rose to the occasion and the venue was the most incredible find!
I loved the anniversary film which I thought was very stylish, inclusive and representative, so brilliant to have Juliet Stevenson in it and great to see some other women of colour included. I found the bursary appeal to be very touching and in itself a great tribute to Tim.
Thank you for inviting me to the party to celebrate your 20th birthday. It was a pleasure to be there and particularly to hear all about your plans for future development. [...] And it was exciting actually to see Gary O’Donoghue – it reminded me of working in the BBC’s radio library years ago when total strangers stood in front of me, opened their mouths and started talking in voices I’d known for ages. I look forward to following all your activities in the future – I’m on your mailing list – and wish you ever greater achievements over the next 20 years.
I kept getting way laid meeting up with so many old friends.
What a terrific event. Thanks so much for organising it.
Congratulations on the success of Extant over the last twenty years and as many said last night, here’s to the next twenty.
Just to say very well done for the party last night. I thought the tone of the speeches was really excellent - particularly commemorating Tim, and also looking to the future as well as what amazing things you've achieved. It really was an extraordinary evening. Highlight moment for me, as well as the humour, was seeing Maria on the dance floor with the man with lit-up shoes and guide dog with flourescent harness!
What a splendid party! A fascinating venue and a great occasion.
[...] I think you did Tim proud.
What a lovely evening it was. Thank you very much for inviting me to be part of it. The bursary in Tim’s memory is fantastic and a great way to give people some extra help in future.
Ellie Southwood - RNIB
It was brilliant! Stephane and I had a great time and it was wonderful to celebrate with you.
I’m so proud of you Maria, I really am.
Suzanne Bull, Attitude is Everything
Thank you for an amazing evening, and congratulations! What an achievement. It was very moving to be there
Mary Paterson - trustee
Huge thanks for having me to the Extant birthday party last week. Such an inspiring event, and I hope you got a decent total from the golden envelopes!
Will Young, Arts Council
It was great to join you via the live stream for part of last night's event! So sorry I couldn't be there in person!
Thank you for the opportunities you have offered for many people to engage & share in the performing arts - as creatives, participants, or as part of an audience. Long may it continue. Thank you also - personally - for continuing to challenge and promote inclusive practice: "The Spirit of Resistance" was one of the projects which made 2016 creatively memorable for me and was so important in enabling those stories to be shared!
So, wishing you continued successes as you embark on the next 20 years, with exciting times ahead - which we know will not be without their own challenges, as all creative projects are!
I just wanted to say a huge thank you again for last night, it was a privilege to be there to celebrate with you, and I left feeling incredibly inspired!
I felt a little apprehensive about coming, knowing that I would not know most of those there, and realising that I am not yet fully adjusted to what is now for all practical purposes in ordinary living a total lack of sight – a condition which has only come on me during the last year or so. I need not have worried. I really enjoyed myself. I met so many congenial people, and they were all so kind and helpful. I thought it was a lovely mix, with plenty of good food and drink, lots of good company, and a proper celebration of Extant’s achievements. I greatly admired the speeches – modest, but with a fully justified pride in what Extant has done and is doing... truly inspirational.
I just want to thank you for such a lovely party last Thursday. The Cinema Museum provided such a great setting to mark Extant’s anniversary and the whole evening was full of fun and good conversations.
Thank you once again for a memorable evening.
Carol McFadden - British Council
It was a marvellous evening and a wonderful venue, I'm gutted I had to leave early
Pete - Punchdrunk
I loved the event last night, thank you for inviting me. It feels good to be part of the Extant family!