My review for Criptease is up on Disability Arts Online, an online journal, and you can read it here. below is my review of 'In Water I'm Weightless'.
'In Water I'm Weightless' starts off like a fashion show. Pounding music and bright lights is the backdrop as the five actors enter the stage in elaborate gowns, suits and striking headpieces. The characters take turns in shouting at the audience, shouting that we are all the same, we are all mortal. After this impressive beginning, 'In Water I'm Weightless' goes on to explore how the story of the five characters overlaps, and how it overlaps with everyone's story.
The characters go through moments when they are dancing and celebrating. But they also go through passages where they are sad, angry or struggling. Many scenes shift from one emotion into another, for example when Sophie Stone does a scene entitled 'things I have lip-read. The ablist, and often sexist quotes her character has lip-read are deeply unsettling. Her reaction to them, however, and the obvious fact that her character is not anything like the quiet, submissive deaf girl men assume her to be, create a lot of humour and laughter.
|Sophie Stone in In Water I'm Weightless|
The characters express the tension between the way they are seen and the way they see themselves. However, the play manages to transcend the idea that only disabled people have to deal with this tension and instead, 'In Water I'm Weightless' shows a wide rainbow of emotions that are universal and left me deeply unsettled, in a good way.