The Vaults (venue)
24 February 2023 (released)
25 February 2023
What do an alt text generator with its own personality, a bunch of offensive visual descriptions and some personal space invading lip reading have in common? They all feature as accessibility aids in dark comedy ‘It’s A MotherF**king Pleasure’ which finishes its run at the Vaults arts festival tomorrow, February 26th.
Highlighting the difficulties of achieving complete accessibility, the 60 min 3 man show, is a farce that encourages us to recognise and laugh at able bodied box ticking attitudes towards inclusivity. An audience member in row 6 needs a light shining on them constantly to help with their visual impairment, but the light sensitive bloke in D6 needs the lights dimmed, and the rest of us are left giggling at the mess unfolding on stage.
Once the audience's needs have been (badly) met, we meet blind talent manager Tim, who is desperately trying to cash in on a blind, brown, gay influencer to amend ableist accusations surrounding his PR firm. Our influencer likes magic and gaming, but is told people really want him for his disability. With Tim’s help, he quickly becomes poster boy for ‘Revision’, an experiential brand that gives guilty able bodied people the chance to experience blindness for themselves. It exaggerates tropes of marketing with hilarious precision, before quickly taking an unexpectedly dark turn that leaves the audience in shock.
Whilst the premise is instantly refreshing, it's the characters which really make this play. The depiction of a ‘terrified to get it wrong’ account exec, played by Chloe Palmer, made me wince with self recognition. She’s using all the right terms but in the words of the ‘Integrated Creative Audio Description’, a dreamt up device which explains characters general vibe for visually impaired audience members, ‘looks like she is about to self combust with anxiety’. The most excruciating moment comes when she insists, as a fully sighted person, that Tim provides her with a visual description of himself.
All in all, this play will make you look long and hard at your attitude towards disability, urging you to do better. However, whilst this play does a great job at mapping out the issues of inclusivity, it does little to suggest an alternative. I worry this could leave the audience feeling slightly fatalistic to change. But then again, why does a disabled led theater company have to have all the answers? This show succeeds in its aims to create a truly hilarious farce that exposes the current cultural narrative around disability, and this is more than enough.
I will be singing this shows praises, and not because I am worried in their words that I will “look like a c**t” if I criticise a disabled led theater company, but because it’s f***ing brilliant.