Natasha Wood: Rolling With Laughter
One woman’s journey from Nottingham to Hollywood, by wheelchair
This article is from 2007.
Talking to Natasha Wood is a bit like having a conversation with Rory Bremner. Answering even the most straightforward questions, she’ll shift from her bra salesman dad’s doughty Nottingham accent to the gushing California-speak of a Hollywood dating agency ‘matchmaker’. Wood was born with spinal muscular atrophy and has spent her life in a wheelchair, but resists patronising aphorisms like “plucky” with her every fibre. She’s had a long career in acting and television (she produced three seasons of What Not To Wear), mainly because it didn’t ever occur to her that she shouldn’t.
Two years ago, though, her brother, also a SMA sufferer, died, and her 14-year marriage broke up. ‘Suddenly there were strangers coming into my house to put me to bed, and there I was, in my early 30s, realising for the first time that I was disabled.’
Wood responded by shipping out to LA, where she reworked the story of her life for the stage. And yes, she does all the voices. Theatre as therapy it may be, but few therapy patients have quite such a blackly funny line in impressions.
Pleasance Dome 4–27 Aug (not 6–8, 13, 14, 20, 21), 6.15pm, £6–8 (£5–£7). Previews until 3 Aug, £5 (£4).