Reviewer: Paul Couch
Whether the confidence that Georgie Morrell exudes is a coping mechanism or a genuine “giving zero f*cks” as she claims, one can’t help but be inspired by the Thirty-something who went blind in her left eye as a toddler and then rapidly (and we’re talking days here) lost the sight in her right.
Morrell’s one-woman show, A Poke In The Eye, is ballsy and uncompromising, full of respect for the doctors who eventually restored half her sight, but viciously condemning of the successive governments who have systematically stripped away support for the disabled.
When we say “one-woman-show”, that’s not technically correct as Morrell is joined on stage by the voices of her fierce mother, laconic father and tormenting, “pure evil” brother who, as is often the case, makes her post-blind, pre-restored life hell in order to “toughen her up”. There’s also guest appearances from assorted medics, voiced by members of the audience.
We learn how friends over-compensate by buying blind people self-help books and gush platitudes, when all she wants is juicy gossip about who’s screwing whom and who got drunk and made a fool, of themselves.
She doesn’t want much out of life – a drop-dead-gorgeous boyfriend, a family and a career in comedy. Oh and a seat on Graham Norton’s sofa (next to the A-listers to make them look good). While her blindness put those plans on hold, she’s determined they’ll come to fruition.
It seems churlish to mention the technical failures of a show like this but a disappointing PowerPoint presentation mars the event somewhat, leaving Morrell to explain awkwardly what’s meant to be on the screen. However, a critical analysis must take no prisoners and no doubt the show has been flawless at other venues.
The public Georgie Morrell clearly doesn’t feel sorry for herself; the private one, however, admits to having faced the demons of despair during her darkest (no pun intended) hours. She’s also pragmatic about the fact that her sight could fail again in the future. Of course, there’s only so much career as a stand-up that can be drawn from regaling tales of one’s disability; however, one suspects there’s much more to Morrell than this one show. A seat on Graham Norton’s sofa surely awaits.
Runs until 26 May 2017 at The Warren Studio 3
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