Dysney Disfunction (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Dysney Disfunction

Michelle Sewell's play reveals surprising depth in it's powerful conclusion

Alice faces a return to Sydney, Australia. It's not her home anymore, and Dysney Disfunction – for the most part – ponders whether her very own prince can save her from that fate. It's a neat juxtaposition; as a child she watched (and related to) Ariel, Jasmine and Snow White. As an adult, marriage is closer to an economic necessity than anything else, an action based in pragmatism as well as love.

The first half of this show is hard work. More than anything, what Dysney Disfunction does well is convey the roller coaster feeling of being in a turbulent relationship. Alice (portrayed by the show's writer Michelle Sewell) delivers her lines at breakneck speed and the effect is dizzying: some strong lines have no room to breathe. VCR footage of therapy sessions provides a calming counterpoint, though it speeds and slows in a stilted, unsettling manner.

Dysney Disfunction concludes with a revelation of childhood trauma and the clear message that coping and living with abuse requires the sort of salvation that a prince (or a visa for another country) can't provide alone. It requires self-love. It's a powerful ending and one that makes this a show worth seeing.

Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug (not 14), 3.40pm, £10–£11 (£8–£9).

Dysney Disfunction

  • 3 stars

HACK Theatre and Norwich Arts Centre In Brexit Britain happily ever after (and UK residency) is just a marriage visa away. But Australian Alice's visa expires today and she's only got Primark flats for glass slippers, an Oyster card for a pumpkin coach and a prince who won't twerk. Love, Alice thinks, is a fairy tale.