- May 16, 2019
There is something terrifying about being made to feel quite so uncomfortable and yet totally amused by a piece of theatre, but this extraordinary work by Birds of Paradise and National Theatre Of Scotland manages to do it with real skill. In a world wracked by the rigours of being “politically correct” it was almost a relief to be told to laugh and it certainly worked using humour and song to expose the other side of living a different life, in this case disability. But in doing so it also shone a light on all manner of “difference”.
The company rattle through, exposing the bones of discrimination and we the audience are constantly distracted by the flickering super titles and the brilliant convention of one member of the company doing expressive sign interpretations constantly, a truly amazing performance in itself.
The music steals West End and Broadway nuances left right and centre to create a pastiche score that for musical theatre fans was right on point but perhaps for those members of the audience not familiar with genre missed the mark.
I laughed long and hard, shrank with embarrassment and loved that they exposed the often patronising nature of theatre and film.
Beautifully staged and lit, the cast are exemplary, each member of the “fully abled” world revealing their own personal shortcomings. It’s a beautifully crafted and played example of modern theatre but fell down for me on one level. Lyrically the songs are great but sadly the tunes less so, and although I respect the fact that they were there for comedic effect I would have liked to have left remembering just one tune – and I did not.
Theatre Royal Brighton