Christina Murdock’s one-woman production is an imaginative and powerful look at an often under-represented side of disability in the family – ★★★★
Nestled inside an underground tunnel near Waterloo, Murdock is given quite the unusual stage for her production. With only six giant toy blocks and a wooden box full of small props to hand, the actress quickly establishes environments and settings for the story, and conjures up a presence of additional characters with precise mime and facial expressions.
The writer, singer and performer plays 17-year-old Claire, sister to Kayla, who cares for her sibling whilst also witnessing the challenges faced by her parents. It’s a far from unfamiliar story for Murdock, whose sister Kate has several disabilities, and it’s apparent in the sensitive writing and dialogue. Over the course of the 60-minute production, Murdoch balances charming moments with striking realism, establishing a parity which previous shows on the theme of disability have struggled or outright failed to achieve.
While billed as a dark comedy, Dangerous Giant Animals is instead a sincere and authentic glimpse at family life, relationships and disability.
Dangerous Giant Animals is now playing at VAULT Festival until 10 March.
Production Images: Stacey Sandford.
Disclaimer: I was invited to watch Dangerous Giant Animals for free in exchange for a review of the performance as a member of the press. I did not receive payment for this review and all opinions stated are honest and my own.