Monday 9 April 2018

I Am Not A Unicorn! - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

I Am Not A Unicorn! is Emma J Hawkins' one-woman show about living life at 103cm short. Hawkins shares her experiences of being a short statured person through some entertaining and thoughtful dance, comedy and storytelling. 

Even while wearing a unicorn mask, from the second Hawkins appears on stage, she exudes an energy that you can't help but instantly warm to. She performs a number of sketches and scenes that provide insight into her life while highlighting the difficulty she has in fitting in to a world that seems to cater wholly for "normal" people. While she may not be a fairy tale creature, the treatment and consideration she often receives, feels like she should be playing cards with Snow White and Rumplestiltskin and getting drunk with Goldilocks.

Hawkins easily finds the comedy in her story but she also does a great job of exposing the harsh realities too. At one point, comments by strangers that have no doubt been made to Hawkins numerous times are shared with the audience. Comments such as how inspirational she is (for just existing), asking to pick her up and cuddle her, and on one occasion being asked to have her picture taken as she was eating a banana because "it would be funny". The ensuing scene, with some help from her "normal" volunteers, perfectly captures the absurdity of that request but articulates the frustration and issues Hawkins must contend with on a daily basis.

This is further explored when Hawkins explains that sometimes life is a constant attempt at keeping up with the "normals". A life where she must carry a scarf with her at all times to lasso around doorknobs, and an umbrella to push the buttons on elevators. Amidst all the laughter, it's a sobering thought on the ableism that is present in society and how it prevents people from being active members of society.

I Am Not A Unicorn! is an opportunity for Hawkins to defy the stereotype of being a short statured person and to open dialogue on what we consider normal and why. Her incorporation of the fairy tale world, dance numbers and storytelling bring a roundedness to the show and allows the audience to gain an understanding of what it's like for someone to be living amongst the "normals" long after the lights come down. 

Click here for my interview with Emma J Hawkins. 

Venue: Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 14 and 21 April | 5.30pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $28.50 Full |
$23.50 Conc

Bookings: MICF website

Beyonce’s Grown Woman


No comments:

Post a Comment