Reviewed – 14th June 2018
“overall this is a cohesive, intelligent and exciting production”
The play begins in darkness, because, as our audio describer notes, this will be some people’s experience of the whole show. In a disconcertingly plausible dystopia, the world is divided into people deemed as functioning and non-functioning. Non-functioning people don’t have access to education or healthcare. Functioning people can be denied the support they need. When Libby is given a new robot device called ‘Libby’s Eyes’ to assist her with her sight, the device quickly begins to take on a mind of its own.
Written by Amy Bethan Evans, this is a play about living with a visual impairment, the government’s attitude towards disabilities, and sentient technology. It is also about human relationships, family, and personal autonomy as everyone tries to send Libby’s life in a certain direction. The cast are all strong, both as individuals and in the lovely ensemble scene change moments that document Libby’s journeys to and from work, funny and well-observed snippets of conversation floating around her. Holly Joyce as Ali has some particularly lovely moments, warm and moving in her portrayal of Libby’s mum. Louise Kempton’s audio describer is also wonderfully witty, gradually subsuming the role of the narrator, commenting and interjecting as the play progresses, paralleling Libby’s own device’s trajectory from robot to sentient object. This is a very clever play with constant parallels being drawn between the ideas of functionality and ableism. Georgie Morrell plays the central role of Libby, and she delivers it with an infectious playfulness and determination.
Some moments are a little clumsy, and a more slick performance would push this piece to the next level, but overall this is a cohesive, intelligent and exciting production. The play strikes a wonderful balance between entertaining its audience, clever, playful and moving, whilst still raising awareness about the way that society and political institutions respond to disability.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
The Bunker until 7th July
Previously reviewed at this venue