3 actors set the scene, all of whose facial expressions change, tone of voice rises when they become new characters. It feels as if more than 3 actors are on stage. Different mannerisms accents and body language brought this performance to life.
“We're in a different space but still in the same set.”
The actors would self-describe what was on stage, their words boringly visualising everything but the tone of their voices carried it and the audience was a mess of laughter. I don’t think my cheeks would recover from how much I smiled and laughed.
Called out loud and bold, the characters portray the story through a company that has been called albeit trying to find a solution to look like allies. Enter blind influencer played by Aarian Mehrabani, used to make the company look like an alley. The company’s HR Helen, played by Chloe Palmer, is all too keen to show off how she is an ally nearly every time she’s around Ross at times not realising she insults him. The behaviour seemed that she couldn’t see past what Ross couldn’t see. The performance shone a light on how people sometimes don’t see people past their disabilities and how normal people feel guilty about their ‘normalness’ that many may not have. And Blind talent manager Tim, played by Samuel Brewer, has his eyes on monetizing Ross’s disability.
It engaged with the audience, especially with the rouge captioner. To make the show accessible, captions were left on a screen subtitling every word the actors said. And the captioner at times would go rogue, insulting the actors. The dangers of technology and yet we laughed. It provided a break from the topics portrayed. The captions went further to order audience members to read the captions out loud.
I smiled and laughed until reality crashed, happy tones vanished and lights dimmed.
It was perfect despite the horror they showcased for a single moment.
This performance is listed as a dark comedy. And dark comedy ended up. The actors portrayed horror, coldness and absurdity well.
The topic of the performance is hard to portray but they managed to do it in a fun way using lights to spotlight characters, different body language to play more than one character and the colours of the light told a story for when we are back in the scene and when characters turn back into actors talking to the audience.
As the production called out should the reviewers hiding in the audience give anything less than four stars, able guilt will shine in those reading the reviews and think ‘how dare that reviewer to criticise a disability-led theatre!” And you know what? They haven't watched the show and judged the performance just for the performance.
But I found the show silly and funny a combination that worked despite the heaviness of the topic, so 5 stars have to be given. Nothing to do with me not wanting to be ableist! How could I be when I’m epileptic?
And on that note, the dimmed lights to simulate blindness were satisfying for my eyes. They tried their best to be as accessible to all.