Last Updated on 11th August 2023
Paul T Davies reviews Self Raising written by Mike Kenny and Jenny Sealey presented at the Pleasance Dome as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Jenny Sealy, Artistic director of Graeae, tells her story and the secrets in her family, in this warm, open and captivating show. As you’d expect from Graeae, the show is fully accessible and the sharing of the secrets are told with no anger or judgement, but really comments on the pressure previous generations were under to hide truths, because the risk of shame was so damnable.
The show was originally going to be an adaptation of Anne Fines’s book The Flour Babies, and bags of flour are handed out for members of audience to look after. They represent, as we find out, Jenny’s family, and we get to know them through family photographs and anecdotes. The piece is a fine example of the power of catharsis, of telling your story when it is safe to do so.
It felt like a privilege having this life story shared with us, and after hearing the story, her strength and pride shine through. Disability? We need to find another word. Highly recommended.