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David Porter » Reviews » Thalidomide, the Musical

Thalidomide, the Musical

The Playhouse, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 23 September 2006

Thalidomide, the Musical

In a time when musicals are made from almost anything from Jerry Springer, Nixon and Thatcher to the NHS and Ofsted, it should be no surprise that Thalidomide gets a showbiz treatment.

That this is written by and co-stars Mat Fraser, a well-known disabled actor, gives it an added edge.

A man with very short arms looking for love in a long-armed world is the basis for a story that’s as politically incorrect as it can be. Through songs and docudrama, the narrative of the passing years, the horror of the Thalidomide tragedy is made flesh.

Throughout, he is totally enabled by Anna Winslet as they ride a rollercoaster of musical genres, puppets and emotions.

Some incredibly funny moments at first feel uncomfortable. But they soon seem natural and normal.

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