Mia: Daughters of Fortune is a multimedia show exploring what it means to be a parent when you have a learning disability.
Devised and directed by Joyce Nga Yu Lee, the show examines the role of sex in the lives of people with learning disabilities and society’s reaction to it. From the assumption that people with learning disabilities do not (and do not want to have sex) in the first place, to that they won’t understand the consequences of sex, right through to knowing absolutely that there’s no chance they can care for a baby if they do have one, there are some dark themes in this detailed portrayal of living life with the consequences of a label.
Performed by Alan Clay, Alison Colborne, Anna Gray and JoAnne Haines, taking on multiple roles each, as well as creating music and dance, the show was well presented as a fully rounded, multi layered representation of real life and all its ups and downs. An entertaining mix of comedy, tragedy and drama, Mia: Daughters of Fortune will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about learning disabilities and parenthood.
The show is based around the story of Mia, who has just found out she is pregnant. As she has a learning disability, some people are unsure whether or not she will cope. It features intimate descriptions of love, sex and parenthood. Yearnings for fairy tale romances are intricately blended with lusty descriptions of the beginnings of relationships.
Use was made of video, interpretive dance and a bowl of freshly microwaved popcorn, as well as short dramatic scenes, to create a multi-faceted story of Mia and her unborn child. A clever illustration of how much sex is used in the mainstream media, particularly in pop music which is often marketed towards younger audiences, is a real eye opener.
The darker scenes were well performed, creating a sense of horror and poignancy by turn as the show cleverly takes you through various emotions, many of which would be features of becoming a parent yourself.
The audience were able to participate in several elements, creating a fully interactive experience which it became clear in the Q&A following the show, had taught members of the audience a number of valuable lessons and made them consider things in a whole new light.
Mia: Daughters of Fortune will leave you questioning what it is that makes someone a good parent, and who has the right to decide whether people have the right to raise children.
Daughters of Fortune is a project exploring learning disability and parenthood from Mind the Gap, a leading disability theatre company. You can find out more at www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/daughters-of-fortune
Reviewer: Donna M Day
Reviewed: 20th November 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★★★