Still No Idea, Jerwood London, 4****: William Russell



by Lisa Hammond, Rachel Spence & Lee Simpson.


Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS to 17 November.

Mon-Sat 7.45pm.

Runs 80 mins No interval

TICKETS: 020 7565 5000



Review: William Russell 2 November.

Ten years on and going strong

A decade ago Lisa Hammond and Rachel Spence – Lisa is disabled and uses a wheel chair although she can walk – created a show called No Idea based on what the public thought was the sort of show they should do. It was a success. They have returned for another look at what has happened since then at how people regard the disabled, at the opportunities available to them in the theatre and elsewhere on television and the world of entertainment. The result is funny, bold, provocative and very entertaining. Things have improved, but there is a long way to go still. As Lisa, the one with the cheeky face, eplains it is one thing to join a show but quite another to get a story – her encounters with the TV producer thrilled at being so enlightened as to employ a disabled person are hilarious and saddening. You get to be there, to sit on the side lines, to operate a computer, pass a judgement, but it is everyone else who gets to take part in a story, is given a story all their own. There is a lovely sequence about a policeman and some drugs which takes off into a world all its own. They are also backed by the voices of some of the “cripperati” – other disabled performers – who tell it like it is for them and others. It is better in so far as they are being used to “pepper the facade” but when it comes to showing the human condition it is not happening yet. Having successful, high achieving disabled people , whether actors or athletes or whatever, being really visible in the media actually makes it easier to let “ordinary” disabled people die. Lisa is quirky and cheeky, Rachel, the mother of three, the perfect foil in this heart warming double act.

Lisa Hammond

Rachel Spence

The voices of – Mat Fraser, Liz Carr, Cherylee Houston, Simon Startin.

Production Photography: Camilla Greenwell.


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