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Motherf**king Pleasure at Vault Festival

In It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure there is quite a bit more than meets the eye. While yes there is the story of Tim, the social media manager who takes on a new blind client amidst the ableism scandal at his company, but that is only a small part of what is shown. First, you are introduced to the actors, and they make it clear they are really running this show not the characters, and also that they will be as inclusive as possible. And they are. There are captions used and audio descriptions provided by the only seeing actor on stage, and what’s so great is they use these aids not to only be inclusive, but to add to the comedy they are performing.

Motherf--kingPleasure. Credit Ciaran Walsh Design.
Motherf–kingPleasure. Credit Ciaran Walsh Design.

The 3-person theatre company, FlawBored makes up the cast, and they have incredible chemistry and a great understanding of what it takes to perform satirical comedy so everyone can enjoy it. After many jokes throughout the show, I found myself astonished at just how good they were. The content of the show is about the problems that can arise around “able anxiety”. I heard this term for the first time from the show, and I think it is just perfect to describe the awkward social situation FlawBored is tackling. How I understand it, is that able anxiety is the anxiety able-bodied people face trying to not offend any disabled person, and it is displayed mostly through the character Helen from HR that is performed by Chloe Palmer.

The skit-like main plot incorporates three main characters: Helen from HR, Ross the new blind talent, and Tim the also blind social media manager. Through these three main characters, a series of almost BoJack Horseman-like story unfolds. Tim, played by Samuel Brewer, is not the best guy, yes, he’s blind which is why the agency RIZE hired him, but he is still intertwined with the greed and opportunism that you would expect from someone in his position. Ross, played by Aarian Mehrabani, comes into play because of a recent scandal and all his personal creative ambitions are thrown out the window, he is now going to help people understand blindness, and maybe even promote it. He is a diversity puppet under the control of Tim, and it’s not too bad until the reality of Ross’s influence becomes obvious after a tragic incident.

Throughout the main plot, we frequently hear from the cast for clarification, insight into the story, or to include the imaginary character of ‘John the captioner.’ And this provides important insight into the situation at RIZE as well as extra laughs. And they also make clear how lots of ridiculous offensive events, like blind immersion activities, are happening in the real world. This connection with the audience helps to create a hilarious and refreshing show. It’s a Motherf**king Pleasure provides a much-needed commentary on society’s ability to discuss ableism and it was done superbly and inclusively.

4 stars

Review by Elisabeth Beer

Pleasance Associate Artists FlawBored present their multi-award winning dark comedy.

Blind talent manager Tim desperately tries to make disability the next cultural cachet in a satire of the monetisation of identity politics.

Cast & Creative Team
Original Concept: SAMUEL BREWER
Director & Dramaturg: JOSH ROCHE
Video Design & Captions: DAN LIGHT
Sound Design and Composition: CALUM PERRIN
Lighting Design: ALEX MUSGRAVE
Associate Lighting Design: ABI TURNER

Tue 21st Feb – Sun 26th Feb 2023

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