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I Am Who I Am

Thalia Theatre Company at the Playhouse, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press 28 November 2009

I Am Who I Am (ergo sum qui sum)

Arriving at the Playhouse, Leonard Cohen songs playing, felt like coming home as Thalia presented their annual show.

This is the arts related-learning provider for disabled people in particular who provide innovative theatre to challenge negative perceptions about disability.

Slides of members’ art work set the scene for I Am Who I Am, a perfectly pitched exploration of identity and self; what makes us different, unique. In the audience or on stage, it doesn’t matter what you look like, you have value. You are a personality.

Three sections – from Dereham, Great Yarmouth and Norwich – started from the same stimulus – a residency with visual artist Tanya Raabe. Each then took ideas in different directions through physical theatre.

Makaton signing was the base communication medium, plus the sheer power of differently abled performers in a huge variety of routines, shapes, images, including the final use of   descriptive emotion words with paintings and mimes.

Driven by highly original music and sound from Yoghurt Collective, it worked on performers and audience to communicate through the totality of the performing arts.

Founder, artistic director and performer Molly Rose-Hutchinson is a driving force who’s vision to enable everyone to express themselves by the arts is so effectively shared by her staff, performing members, parents and carers.

It was an inspiring and enjoyable experience.

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