DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Why Won’t You Have Sex With Me? – Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Writer: Louise Bruton

Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster

More a lecture or presentation than a performance, Why Won’t You Have Sex With Me? Is an extremely welcome addition to the public discourse by disability right campaigner and journalist Louise Bruton. Bruton’s show clocks in at just over thirty minutes, but in this time she addresses what she sees as the key features of dating from the perspective of someone in a wheelchair. She calls attention to many aspects of this experience that largely go ignored or unnoticed, such as the difficulty of accessing certain venues to the awkwardness of getting a taxi home at the end of a night.

Bruton incorporates audio and visual elements to the performance, with grotesque cartoons projected behind her depicting Tinder profiles, the perspective of a bar from her chair, and a caricatured view of a disabled person, complete with patronising medals around their neck. The audio clips are statements from people about the potential of dating someone with a disability, and a probably-not-that-parodic radio presenter who interviews Bruton on her topic.

The language in this performance can occasionally jar, due to its essentialism – there is lot of being told what “YOU” do to “US”. However, this is probably necessary to make her point heard. The greatest value of the piece comes in the fact that it is the perspective of a person with a disability that doesn’t get distorted by the frames of the media, or questions of a journalist. This makes the piece vital to achieving an understanding of an issue that is rarely, if ever, dealt with in such a frank way.

Runs until 11th September 2017 | Image: Ruth Medjber

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