The Mill
Until 09 Mar 2018

Review by John Wells

This is a little gem of a production: smart, incisive and surprisingly entertaining.

The play begins with a spoken list of well-meaning and trite suggestions about how to combat serious, lifelong disability – “have you tried yoga?”. These earnest niceties gather speed and whirr along. We feel uncomfortable. How many times have we uttered meaningless platitudes?

Rachel Edmonds’ crackling play examines living with a disability through her own experiences and the stories of others. She attacks stupidity and ignorance with clarity and candour.

Edmonds is a skilled and astute performer. She has a wonderful immediacy, especially in the tiny space of the Mill. Her observations are precise, raw and sometimes heart-breaking. There is anger prowling here, but it is anger with a purpose, with a desire for honest understanding. Edmonds never slips into mawkishness. She knows the power of humour in story-telling, and uses lightness with great effect.

Edmonds is capably supported by Martin Astifo, who plays several characters. His appearance as the dense and patronizing emergency doctor is hilariously awful.

This is a strong and powerful play, as entertaining as it is educative.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)