Directed by Guy Slater
Pros: The play gives the subject of caring for the disabled a personal dimension.
Cons: The show may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, but appearances are deceiving.
Our Verdict: A one-woman show that taps into the fears and experiences of all parents.
|Courtesy of the Cockpit|
disabled child?” it doesn’t necessarily scream a fun night out. True, there have been notable plays such as A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg, but you can count on one hand the amount of texts that have tackled the subject successfully, if at all. Kudos then to the Cockpit Theatre for putting on a show that addresses this subject in a successful fashion.Written by Rahila Gupta, a well-known novelist and playwright, Don’t Wake Me is a personal account of her relationship with her disabled son – from her ‘difficult’ labour and struggle to get straight answers from medical staff, to her perennial fight for Nihal’s education.
One person in the show that was mentioned in relation to Nihal was esteemed scientist Stephen Hawking. This got me thinking. If Hawking had been denied access to resources to facilitate his ability to communicate, what would have become of him? How many other disabled people are in that position now, unable to communicate?
It would be remiss of me to finish this without coming back to the star of the show, Jaye Griffiths. She had the Herculean task of keeping the audience enthralled and remembering the elegant rhythms of speech for 70 minutes. She also had to emote and be believable at each stage of her character’s tale. When the moment demanded it, she was funny, subtle, able to replicate different accents, and exude joy as well as despair. By the end of the performance she was tearful (as were many members of the audience). I don’t believe Ms Griffiths could have played the part if she wasn’t giving it her all – a soul-wrenching performance.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
Don’t Wake Me: The Ballad of Nihal Armstrong runs at The Cockpit Theatre until 22nd June 2013.
Box Office: 020 7258 2925 or book online at http://thecockpit.org.uk/show/dont_wake_me