Wednesday, 17 February 2021

REVIEW: Stuck with You online at Graeae

Graeae Theatre Company has been producing accessible theatre for many years and its latest offering is a series of short plays written by D/deaf and disabled writers released weekly over a few weeks and available to engage with online under the banner Crips without constraints part 2.

The new series of short plays released online with subtitles cover subjects such as sibling rivalry, and death by post-it notes, and they’re written by writers who have been part of Graeae’s Write to Play programme.

Stuck with you is a short video call between two sisters on either side of a bathroom door in which they explore the relationship between themselves, with their mother and their sister Emma. The conversation exposes the tensions in the family over their individual abilities and success and in dealing with grief. Abi is the younger sister in her twenties upset that she found out that her older sister Sarah, in her thirties, was getting married through another friend’s Facebook page and therefore not convinced that she was first choice as maid of honour. It is clear that they don’t talk to each other as much as they each think they should. It is written by Jessica Lovett.

What is distinctive and clever about the productions of Graeae Theatre Company is the care they take to ensure the playlet is accessible by all, disabled and non-disabled. They achieve this through voice-overs for the visually impaired describing the scene and the way the performers look and subtitles for the deaf so that the interaction between the two women can be enjoyed by everyone. There are some nice comic moments as Abi tries on the dress but a serious side about sibling rivalry and how without talking and sharing families can drift apart without noticing. 

Sharon Duncan Brewster plays the older sister Sarah sat on the flow outside the bathroom and Alexandra James plays the younger sister in the bathroom trying on the dress. The director is Lilac Yosiphan and together they make the situation feel real but slightly absurd at the same time. We just want them to open the door and give each other a hug, perhaps not possible due to social distancing rules! As with so many of these short videos, they leave you wanting to know more. We want to learn more about Kelly, the bridezilla causing stress. We want to meet their mother and we want to know more about their sister Emma and the planned hen do. What we have is an amusing opening sketch but there is much more to learn about this family and the tensions the proposed wedding exposes.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: Free
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