The genesis of 21Common was an artist-centric, artist-led collective born from a friendship and collaboration between Gary Gardiner, Lucy Gaizely, Ian Johnston, Louise Irwin and Adrian Howells.

21Common enabled a group of passionate and enduring artists to make work which ruffles feathers and challenges the accepted and expected ways of being.

In 2011 Lucy Gaizely produced a two-year residency led by internationally acclaimed artist Adrian Howells at The Arches in Glasgow and at Sense Scotland, a charity supporting those with profound disabilities. Exploring ideas of intimacy and vulnerability, it was an attempt to engage adults with complex learning needs, isolated by society in art and to potentially provide mentoring for any emergent artists made visible by this process. Ian Johnston became one of those artists and it became clear as their good friend Adrian said ‘There is only one other person who dances like Ian and that’s Gary Snake hips.’

Their show Dancer developed from this realisation and research after a long and detailed fruition period. It became Adrian’s final work when he died in 2014. Although Adrian is gone his approach to practice is still vitally present throughout every single thing they do.

Since then they have produced several new works and projects and were thrilled to have been awarded RFO status by Creative Scotland for the period 2018-21. In 2018, Lucy Gaizely co-curated FUTUREPROOF with National Theatre of Scotland - a major radical new festival of international performing arts, created by young people working alongside renowned Scottish, British and international theatre practitioners.




World premiere: T1 at Tramway, 24/25 May - Take Me Somewhere 2019: read more here


The Ballad Of The Apathetic Son and His Narcissistic Mother 

Lucy and Raedie are Mother and Son. They both REALLY love the singer Sia. They love her music, her videos and especially her hair.  They love the way it moves in a choppy, black-on-platinum swivel.

They decided to use the iconic motifs of this Australian pop superstar to make their own performance. Somehow Sia became the catalyst in examining this relationship between a 14-year-old son and his 37-year-old mother, between a legally identified adult and child, Woman and Boy, and two artists creating and sharing something.

This high-energy performance exposes the inherent narcissism that is at the centre of motherhood and how this becomes a burden to the child embarking on adulthood.  It shares something of Lucy and Raedie, past and present. It discovers their new dynamic.

So hold on for dear life through this all singing, all dancing journey of rejection and nurture, disappointment and interdependency, of transforming, growing, hurting and becoming…

Created and Performed by: Lucy Gaizely and Raedie Gaizely Gardiner
Rehearsal Director: Gary Gardiner
Mentor: Deborah Richardson Webb
Associate Artist: Ian Johnson
Sound Designer: Zac Scott
Lighting Designer and Production Manager: Michaella Fee
Lead Producer: Louise Irwin

Supported by Imaginate


24/25 February 2017, Tramway, Glasgow as part of Take Me Somewhere 2017
21 June 2017, The Place, London
14-26 August 2018, 1.45pm, Summerhall, Edinburgh, as part of Made In Scotland Showcase at Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
11 May 2019, Kontrapunkt Festival, Pałac Młodzieży, Szczecin., Poland
19-20 May 2019, EUROPEAN BÜRGERBÜHNE FESTIVAL, Kleines Haus 3 Dresden, Germany

**** Ballad is a beautiful show, and it is a messy one. Just as family relationships are messy. It is a an honest one too about how parental expectation can make us think of our children as disappointments when they are simply in the process of growing up, and are often more like us at the same age than we would like to admit.



Join Ian - Scotland’s leading learning-disabled artist – and Gary as they hit the floor in this often hilarious exploration of what it really means to be a 'dancer'.   With a blistering soundtrack careering from Kylie to Nick Cave, they will attempt to understand what it is about dance that makes them feel most alive. Expect outrageously camp jerks and thrusts… and complete stillness.

This Unlimited Commission completed a sold-out UK Tour in 2014/15 and sold-out Edinburgh Fringe run in 2016, and was originally co-created with the late Adrian Howells.   Total Theatre Award nominee and Made In Scotland showcase show 2016. 

“Dapper and delicate… such a lovely piece of work: simple, generous-spirited, vulnerable and entirely without side.” 
Guardian - read full review here

Scotsman - read full review here

'Ian is a joy to watch as he shows how dance can make you come fully alive.'
Skinny - read full review here

'Dancer has the simple audacity to break a boundary, to let someone tap their toes and twirl their arms and to say that's okay..'
Fest - read full review here



UNLIMITED at Southbank, London
Fierce Festival, Birmingham
Battersea Arts Centre, London
People's Dancing Festival, Cardiff Millennium Centre 


Behaviour Festival, The Arches, Glasgow
The Place, UK’S Premiere Centre for Contemporary Dance, London
Bounce Festival Belfast

Dancebase - Edinburgh Fringe (Made In Scotland Showcase / Total Theatre Award Nominee)


GAM, Santiago, Chile (June 2017)
Nøtterøy Kulturhus, Norway (September 2017)
Ibsenhuset, Skien, Norway (September 2017)
Bølgen Kulturhus, Larvik, Norway (September 2017) 
Drammens Teater, Norway (September 2017)


Thanks to funding from Arts Council England:
Lancaster Arts (January 2018)
Colchester Arts Centre ( November 2018)
Chats Palace, Hackney ( November 2018)
York St John’s (November 2018)


Made in Scotland Festival, De Kriekelaar, Belgium (June 2019)