***Performance Review*** Blanche and Butch – Birds of Paradise and Tron Theatre

By Mairi Therese Gilfedder

“I piss on pity” Garry Robson

I first heard about the show because my brothers girlfriend Amy is a sign language interpreter, and she was interpreting it.

The premise was that three guys were rehearsing for a play of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” which is a a famous film starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It is about two sisters, one is a wheelchair user and the other one is an ageing, bitter actress.

In the show, the actor Robert Softley Gale wants to play the role of the bitter actress – but, as a wheelchair user, he physically couldn’t do it. He protests that it’s not about your physical limitations, it’s about becoming the character. Even as a male wheelchair user, Robert could put on the wig and the make up and be that character.

It challenged me, because it made me realise that sometimes I put my own obstacles in my way. It made me want to be assertive like Robert was.

It was absolutely fantastic. There was lots of little references which I could identify with. That I do not need pity or solace, I just need respect.

The second part of the show was a sketch show exploring love, relationships and body issues. It was again something totally new. There were lots of performers, some of whom had trans identities or were in the process of transitioning. So it was about gender too.It gave me a great insight into the trans community and the experience of trans people, and it was also hilarious.

The whole show was totally filthy – it pushed boundaries. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was the first time I’ve seen disabled actors changelling  people’s perceptions in that way. It was amazing – I’m still thinking about it and loving it now

***** 5 STARS

Birds of Paradise have another show on at the Studio of the Festival theatre. 7th-23rd December – find out more here – I’ll be there – will you join me?!