CRIPtic Pit Party @ Barbican Theatre Review

Having been awarded the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund Award in Directing/Theatre-Making and one of three to receive the Jerwood Compton Fellowship this year alone, multi-talented writer and theatre maker Jamie Hale has very rightly been recognised for his work and contributions to the arts. The founder of CRIPtic Arts, an organisation established in 2019, dedicated to nurturing art made by d/Deaf and Disabled creatives, Jamie’s commitment to support fellow artists has been exemplary. A culmination of a year’s development programme, CRIPtic Arts present CRIPtic Pit Party, a powerful evening of sharing and performance.

Miss Jacqui.

A celebration of the collective, CRIPtic Pit Party presents an assured line up of creatives who each bring with them their own unique voices, Sahera Khan delivers three pre-recorded BSL poetic pieces, ‘Hurts Me’,’I don’t care if it is repeated’ and ‘Why Together’, drawing on what makes her feel sad, how others judge her and her thoughts and feelings about the world around her. A powerful and necessary opener to the show that encourages connection, and provokes thought. Oli Isaac’s monologue, raising awareness on stuttering is gripping to watch, from highlighting the high profile names who have encountered stuttering to sharing personal anecdotes of navigating a world not equipped to support with this, we gain a deeper insight into how Oli has had to adapt to tasks many would otherwise take for granted, searching for the words he can say to replace the ones he can’t but needs to, avoiding certain tasks to not have to encounter the judgement of others. Alice Christina-Corrigan presents an empowered monologue about the regaining of strength post an abusive relationship. Fused with bold audio described projections, we share in the protagonist’s new found freedom and an embracing of who they are now. Tink Flaherty showcases a powerful piece raising awareness on self hitting. Flaherty stating that they do not ask for sympathy, informing us of how it has been found that over half of people diagnosed with autism engage in behaviour that could be of danger to themselves. Flaherty presents a reality that breaks down barriers and this is very necessary. They introduce their piece, a film located out in the countryside documenting their self hitting which is authentic and honest, a powerful watch.

FlawBored consisting of Aarian MehrabaniSamuel Brewer and Chloe Palmer deliver a comical yet profound piece focused on the representation of blindness within the advertising world. A thoughtful debate ensues showcasing the complexity within the debate as to how representation should take shape, an engaging segment from the trio. Miss Jacqui entrances with an uplifting set – a spoken word and poetry fused piece that uplifts and encourages positivity. A soulful, spirited feature that radiates the space from the get go. Gold Maria Akanbi contributes pre-recorded piece,‘Can I Be Free’, a segment set in an interrogation room which is both a literal and metaphorical representation of the restrictions placed on Black bodies by society, yet a celebration of  individuality and embracing that. Tom Ryalls crafts a playful monologue, performed brilliantly by Jodie Mitchell commenting on our new age of self care and social media, and how these two interplay both online and on a wider level. A very clever monologue, the piece asks for us to question how we all feel we individually contribute to society, a very entertaining showcase.  MC Geezer and Troi Lee close the evening with an inspired, entertaining DJ set, the duo beautifully wrapping up the showcase with words of positivity, MC Geezer educating us on certain BSL terms to use alongside him during songs performed. An inspired evening!

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

CRIPtic Pit Party was shown on Friday 19th and saturday 20th November 2021 at The Barbican. To find out more about the event, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop