Last Updated on 25th September 2022
Paul T Davies reviews Amy Trigg’s play Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me at the Mercury Theatre Colchester presented by Paines Plough.
Every now and again you see a show and know it will stay with you for a very long time. Such is Amy Trigg’s incredible play, honest, funny, poignant and gripping throughout as she holds us in her narrative. She is enormously entertaining, playing the character of Juno, who wisely creates a filter so that Trigg can protect her autobiographical experience wisely, sometimes curtains are closed around the narrative, other times they open to reveal profound and thought-provoking truths about disability and life in a wheelchair.
Juno enacts scenes from her life, from first diagnosis of spina bifida, school crushes, adult fixations, friendship, hospital procedures. Bad news is received with a smile, “like a clown who has just been sacked from the circus”, and the play gorgeously celebrates friendship, creating her “logical family” of support, whilst also thanking her parents, her biological family, for unwavering support and love. Each scene is clearly delineated, so we know where we are int eh narrative, and there’s a good sense of stand up, one response to an online dating message being spoken on microphone, the words gently pinning us back into our seats- men need to hear this. The play is also a joy to listen to, her ensemble of character’s being perfectly voiced, from best friend Mel to dating app idiots. Most importantly the play exposes bigotry towards spina bifida, and Christian doctrines and the power of “miracles” are punctured with the line, “I’m reminded I’m broken.”
Juno doesn’t shy away from sexuality, informing the audience of much we may not know with a wonderful naughtiness, at times she reminded me of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although the tone is generally light, she also doesn’t shy away from sadness, and the play is beautifully structured as she reconnects with her eight-year-old self. Trigg’s charisma is one of the many reasons to love to this play, which should be on the GCSE syllabus. I don’t know how that ball can be set in motion, but this is outstanding work.