Henry Fraser

We meet mouth artist Henry Fraser from his studio to discuss his art and how his life story led to the award winning theatre play The Little Big Things. Based on the Sunday Times best-selling autobiography by Henry Fraser, The Little Big Things is a new British musical with an explosive theatrical pop soundtrack in a world premiere production. This uplifting and colourful new musical is a life-affirming reminder about the transformative power of family, and how sometimes it really is the little things which matter the most.

An avid sportsman and academy player with a premiership Rugby club, Henry Fraser’s life changed forever when in 2009 he had a diving accident. From that moment he had a new life to live as a tetraplegic and new circumstances to accept and adapt to. Henry’s defiance and determination to prosper against devastating odds led to him wheeling himself out of hospital a whole year earlier than predicted. Today he is a successful artist, inspirational speaker and best-selling author.

Follow @HenryFraser0 & the musical @TLBTmusical on Instagram and also @HenryFraser0 on X (Twitter).

Visit his official website: https://henryfraserart.com/

Go see Henry's play The Little Big Things in London at Soho Place: https://sohoplace.org/shows/the-little-big-things

Henry's story

It was July 18th 2009 when everything in my life changed. It was a glorious day. Blue sky, sunshine, friends all surrounded me on that golden beach. I ran into the sea thinking it was a good depth to dive forward turns out the sea bed kicked up slightly right in front of me. I collided head first and momentarily blacked out. I opened my eyes expecting to stand up, walk out the sea and join my friends. I opened my eyes floating in the sea completely unable to move. It’s amazing to think that one little thing, one brief moment, can change everything.

From that moment I had a new life to live. New circumstances to accept and adapt.

Three weeks spent in a Portuguese hospital (they were incredible !) with surgeries to realign my dislocated fourth vertebrae. Two weeks in intensive care in the UK. Five and half more months in hospital before I was back in the real world again.

In that time I’ve experienced so many things.

In January of 2015 I taught myself how draw and paint by holding the utensils in my mouth.

I had a sore on my back that meant I was bed bound for a few weeks.

I was getting bored sitting in bed for days on end so I found an app on my iPad that I could use for drawing by holding a stylus in my mouth and touching the screen. I loved it.

When my health had improved I was able to get it of bed and I taught myself how to draw and paint with actual pencils and paint by attaching the utensils to a mouth stick.

As a young child I loved art. But as I grew up I fell out of love with the subject. I lost all my enthusiasm to create.

Without my accident I never would have found that love I had as a kid.

Adversity has given me a gift.

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