Last year I wrote about seeing Mark Thomas’s stunning show Extreme Rambling at the Tricycle Theatre. I also described how the theatre manager asked me to move at the interval because someone in the audience had complained about my tics.
I ended up watching the rest of Mark’s brilliant performance through a glass window in the production box at the side of the stage, in tears.
This evening Leftwing Idiot and I saw Mark again. This time he wasn’t on stage, but in the middle of Kilburn High Road. He stopped and chatted to us, waiting patiently for a mild ‘ticcing fit’ to finish.
Amongst other things we talked about what’d happened last year. It seemed right to bump into him tonight because, as it turned out, all three of us were heading back to the Tricycle to see Francesca Martinez’s fantastic new show, ‘What The Fuck Is Normal?’
As you might expect, it was far from normal. It was, amazing, funny, poignant and absorbing. I haven’t been back to see anything at the theatre since my experience last year, and I couldn’t have picked anything better to help me cast aside my worries. I was made to feel incredibly welcome.
As well as being an excellent performer, Francesca’s also brilliantly wobbly. ‘Wobbly’ is her inspired name for Cerebral Palsy. During the show she suggested Tourettes could be similarly renamed as ‘Talkative’. Sounds good to me, I quite like the idea of being known as Talkativehero.
Francesca’s performance explored the public preoccupation with being normal. She questioned what this meant and asked if anyone had actually met a normal person.
Much of the show felt very relevant to my experiences. Maybe this was because I’m similarly ‘creatively balanced’ or maybe it’s just because I’ve been an awkward adolescent, read magazines, watched TV, and have a mind that likes to wander over my own insecurities.
This show’s a celebration of diversity. It’s a beautifully crafted show and I strongly urge anyone who has the chance to go and see it. Hurry though, it’s only on in London until Saturday 9th June.
Hopefully, like me, you’ll come away from it a little more accepting of yourself and a little less worried about being normal.