In memory of David Toole OBE

By Graeae Team , October, 19 2020

We are deeply saddened by the recent news of world renowned dancer, actor, disability rights campaigner and our friend David Toole passing away on Friday 16 October, at the age of 56.

We were lucky enough to work with David on several occasions, including in our productions of The Fall of the House of Usher (2000),  The Changeling (2001) and Blasted (2006). He also featured in the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony co-directed by Jenny Sealey, and was one of the 39 artists featured in our 2016 illustration exhibition Reframing the Myth. For the last 10 years, he worked as a dancer at StopGap, and had also worked with renowned theatre and dance companies Slung Low and DV8.

Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae, said: 
“Dave was so many things, our darling wonderful, grumpy, opinionated, glorious, silly, funny, kind, sexy, loving, and wise friend. The most unique and left-field man ever and funny beyond words. And of course, an extraordinary performer and a unique brilliant dancer. But above all, to all of us in Graeae, he was a dear friend and a cherished collaborator. We hope he is safe and pain free wherever he is.”

We, along with the rest of the disability arts community, will miss him greatly.

RIP David Toole, 1964-2020.

Read his full obituary on Disability Arts Online here.

David Toole in Blasted, photo Patrick Baldwin
David Toole in The Changeling by Thomas Middleton; adaptation by Clare McIntyre.
Photo: Patrick Baldwin;
Ulla Puggaard’s illustration inspired by David Toole, from the 2016 exhibition Reframing the Myth.