An epic narrative of vast and imperfect comedic proportions, A Normal Child navigates the intricacies of disability representation in a daring, funny, and complex work which can be seen at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre from 22 October to 2 November as part of the Darebin Arts Speakeasy program.

Examining the right to begin and end life from the perspective of the disability sector, A Normal Child tackles issues of euthanasia, sex, abortion and IVF through an absurdist comedy lens

Led by self-nominated “noddies” and “masters of the absurd”, co-Artistic Directors of Ridiculusmus, David Woods and Jonathan Haynes, and featuring the Disability Slapstick Plan, an ensemble of four Melbourne artists with different physical abilities, including Betty Bobbitt, Trevor Dunn, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans and Eva Sifis.

The experiences of the ensemble members range from writing and performance for television and theatre, spoken word, composition, rock music performance, motivational speaking, fiction and memoir writing to political activism within the disability and queer sectors and academic research.

Ridiculusmus is a multi-award winning theatre company that has been producing seriously funny theatre for over 25 years. The company’s co-artistic directors, David Woods and Jon Haynes, have established the company as a flagship UK performance group touring nationally and internationally with works passionately wrought from minimal resources that achieve the oxymoronic aim of being both serious and funny.

The company has created over 25 original theatre productions and is regularly commissioned by venues including the Barbican, National Theatre (UK), Royal Court, Soho Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and Arts House, Melbourne.

Both Woods and Haynes also work on projects separately, with Woods, who lives in Australia, notably working with Back to Back to devise the critically acclaimed Ganesh Versus the Third Reich as well as performances in Exit The King (Malthouse Theatre / Company B Belvoir), Optimism (Melbourne/Sydney Theatre Company/Edinburgh Festival co-production), Pygmalion (STC) and His Girl Friday (MTC).

Celebrating its sixth birthday in 2019, Darebin Arts Speakeasy season features contemporary and challenging performances by leading creatives including Fleur Kilpatrick, Jessica Wilson, Everybody NOW, Lemony S Puppet Theatre and Joseph O’Farrell.

Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre

22 October – 2 November, 2019

Image: Sarah Walker