It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure directedby Josh Roche and produced by FlawBored, a disability-led theatre company, is a play calling out both ableism and able anxiety. A blind talent agent, Tim tries to make disability the new cultural trend by representing and leading a blind influencer, Ross but things get out of control.
This is the most accessible show I have ever seen which is not surprising considering it being in the centre of this play. There was a caption screen for anyone in the audience with a hearing impairment and verbal descriptions of the scenes and characters for those with visual impairment. There was only a minimal set used so even the non-disabled audience relied on the descriptions to imagine where each scene is set in. There were blind members of the audience at the performance I was at and I was happy to observe that they were able to have as much fun as the rest of us.
This play makes you question yourself and any internalised ableism or able anxiety you might have. For those of you who may not know, able anxiety is when you’re terrified of being labelled as an ableist that you go out of your way to prove otherwise. This play makes you laugh at your mistakes while leading you to think about what you could do differently.
While the main focus of the play is disabilities, this play represents much more than that. It represents race, LGBTQ+ and the use of minorities as a kind of a ‘trend,’ as well as the dangers of the new influencer culture.
While the cast consisted of three performers, Samuel Brewer, Aarian Mehrabani and Chloe Palmer, there was a fourth character depicted with the captions, ‘the captioner.’ That persona added to the comedy and made this play extra enjoyable. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much but also at times felt bad for laughing, as this play classifies as a dark comedy.
The disagreements between the two blind characters give the most important message of this play that different people can perceive the same thing differently. While there is a number of people with similar conditions, their experiences are individual and cannot be generalised.
It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure won multiple awards and gets funding from Arts Council England. It is extremely sad to hear that they cannot even be sure they deserve it due to the able anxiety, the anxiety that we might get ‘cancelled,’ surrounding us. As a reviewer, they are already expecting me to say this because they suspect that each review is susceptible to able anxiety but purely being driven by the joy I had watching, the self-reflection I had afterwards, and the amazing writing and performances, this show deserves every bit of recognition it gets.
I was sad to miss them at the VAULT Festival and happy for the opportunity to see them at Soho Theatre where they will be until May 13. So, don’t miss this second chance!