GDLP: Zarina couldn’t make it to Assisted Suicide the Musical so I brought HP instead - this dreamy fire girl friend I love (like if your friends were warm treasure pieces in your hands). right she should be there. HP’s brother is paralysed, and she holds that in her hands very carefully. I was thinking about the sensitivity and pressure of disability ethics, of the title of this show, and then ten minutes in we looked at each other wide-eyed with nervous smiles when we realised this show wasn’t in favour - it emphatically and musically derided the entire act of assisted suicide. and it was not coy about it. well i never 

and now I do. the politic is this: assisted suicide is seen as a way to fix the problems of both disability and terminal illness - painted with the same brush. ’It’s better to be dead than disabled,’ better to be dead than facing a terminal illness, because of the loss of autonomy. (pain is much lower on the list for cited reasons for assisted suicide, i didn’t know this). thus, assisted suicide is a threat to disabled people, to their day to day, their value, their identity. 

Art is rarely so pointed and challenging. I respect the bravery and crudeness of polemic. so there’s that. but the deliveryyyyyy. forceful decorated irony. the brilliant Liz Carr comes on stage and says, ‘Welcome to my TED talk with show tunes.’ exactly that. a documentary with bells on, last rites with autotune. It was v v funny. Carr duet with the Pope. The type of humour your laugh reaches before your head (and then your head is torn with you finding it funny, ‘cause this is no laughing matter! people’s lives are at stake!). And that was the pattern, like laugh-out-loud and then wait, I feel sick and dark. Pulling us up and down, falling out of the theatre like a tumble dryer. This great awkwardness and necessary discomfort put me somehow at ease. Like I had new confidence in my own ethics, that I didn’t want any grey doubt, like I wanted to have opinions

HP: yah totally. A super real subject for me to approach, so thank god it was funny (humour is such a powerful tool for dealing with these indescribably shitty situations). Ive gotta say, I had ZERO idea that this would be a play against assisted suicide! I was in shock- and the reason we were all in shock is the core of the problem- every singe person i know, including myself, would be like, ‘yah of course that should be legal, its humane!’ (its kind of scary lately how we are all adopting politics through reading the first line of a think piece, or scrolling though our depressing news-feeds, but thats for another review…). 

And it is disguised into this left wing liberal thing of choice. And its not like she was pushing for people suffering to not get the right care/help* but it was more about this idea of how seedy choice is, like how we *choose* between adidas or nike, or whatever else brand, we aren’t really choosing, u get me, something is pre placed. And same goes for assisted suicide, the choice is there and its advertised so strongly as being the best option for the suffering and disabled.

As a society its easier to deal with death than disability. And don’t get me wrong, there are some people in extreme situations of suffering which makes this part of the debate a grey area, but for the majority of people this *treatment* is aimed at, they are disabled. From the day a disabled person is born, society tells them life just isn’t really worth living. The performance/ted talk/musical (i was really into its lack of category) was essentially a really entertaining form of activism not necessarily rooted in trying to change the law but trying to change public opinion. 

The comedic aspect is something I really related to, its almost a necessary tool in breaking down taboo subjects. Disability in general is a subject that makes people get all weird, let alone assisted suicide. Making people laugh is essentially creating an access point into something quite raw and hard to swallow. My favourite part was when they sang “assist us to live not to die.”  This really is the crux of the argument. We need to realize that bodies are made disabled by whats not accessible to them and we need to change our frame of mind around what a valued life is.

GDLP: so thank you Liz Carr and the cast and production team, thank you Shape and ArtsAdmin for commission support. thank you for political bravery and clarity. you were overpowering and incredible.

GDLP x HP Parmley
Oct 2nd 2k16

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{ 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔬𝔫𝔩𝔶 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔰𝔬𝔫 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔚𝔥𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔓𝔲𝔟𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔢𝔵𝔦𝔰𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔟𝔢𝔠𝔞𝔲𝔰𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔠𝔥𝔬𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔰𝔲𝔭𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱 𝔲𝔰 𝔢𝔞𝔠𝔥 𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔱𝔥 𝔳𝔦𝔞 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫. 𝔚𝔢 𝔰𝔬𝔪𝔢𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 𝔡𝔬 𝔱𝔞𝔩𝔨𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔧𝔬𝔟𝔰 𝔟𝔲𝔱 𝔓𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔢𝔬𝔫 𝔦𝔰 𝔥𝔬𝔴 𝔴𝔢 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔭𝔞𝔦𝔡 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔲𝔞𝔩 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢 - 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔯𝔢𝔳𝔦𝔢𝔴𝔰 𝔫 𝔞𝔯𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔬 𝔬𝔫. 𝔄𝔫𝔡 𝔦𝔱'𝔰 𝔰𝔬 𝔦𝔪𝔭𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔞𝔫𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔲𝔰 2 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔴𝔢 𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔰𝔱𝔞𝔶 𝔦𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔭𝔢𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔫𝔱 𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔦𝔠𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔱𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔱𝔬 𝔟𝔦𝔤 𝔣𝔲𝔫𝔡𝔢𝔯𝔰 𝔬𝔯 𝔦𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔱𝔲𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰, 𝔭𝔲𝔟𝔩𝔦𝔠 𝔬𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔦𝔳𝔞𝔱𝔢. 𝔗𝔥𝔞𝔫𝔨 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔬𝔩𝔡 𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔶 𝔭𝔞𝔱𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔰 - 𝔴𝔢'𝔩𝔩 𝔡𝔬 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔟𝔢𝔰𝔱 𝔱𝔬 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔡𝔲𝔠𝔢 𝔮𝔲𝔞𝔩𝔦𝔱𝔶 𝔬𝔲𝔱𝔭𝔲𝔱; 𝔴𝔯𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔰𝔱𝔲𝔣𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔦𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔯𝔢. }

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