Recently I saw Fishamble: The New Play Company latest show at The Civic Theatre in Tallaght ‘Wheelchair On My Face’ a one woman show written and performed by Sonya Kelly better known as a stand-up comedian. Arriving clumsily onstage to the strains of Johnny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly’ with just a bag and what appear like to very large walking sticks with a small table as the only set piece on stage. Sonya uses her own life experiences born with severe short-sightedness to bring the audience on a journey- recounting the obstacles she is faced with both physical and social as a child.
In a hilarious tale Sonya describes her early encounters with family members who thought she was such an affectionate child sitting on their knees touching their faces, when in fact it was her only way of telling who they were. On starting school her class members were less than enthusiastic about being studied so closely.
In a very comical demonstration of the visit of the health nurse’s to the school when Sonya aged 7 it’s finally discovered that in fact she is almost blind, followed up visits to the hospital and finally the selection of bottle end glasses. In vivid and comical detail, Sonya recounts her view of the world as she could now see it from her classmate to her parent’s car; it’s both funny and sad.
The show is fused together with her childhood fantasies of ABBA residing in her wardrobe which inject an added dimension to the show and provided many fits of giggles from the mainly women attendance in at the show.
‘Wheelchair On My Face’ is a really touching, funny and engaging performance by Sonya Kelly, on an issue that so many can relate to, it well worth seeing.
Directed by Gina Moxley Kelly Produced by Marketa Dowling
Photo courtesy of Fishamble