“Between not getting better and getting better at not getting better stories are needed. Stories wider than their margins and less lemon than real-life are needed.”
Especially when real life is being indoors too much with fibromyalgia, an illness with too many syllables to be anything other than shit and possibly contagious. Stories are really needed because as a narrative device fibromyalgia is pants. Yes, there’s lots of dramatic pain and ennui-inducing fatigue, but there’s no real back story, no concrete arc and no triumphant conclusion.
And, anyway, disabled spoken word artist Conor A wanted to tell a different story. Learning To Swim On An Ironing Board is the story of getting better at not getting better, therapeutic eavesdropping (not a widely used therapeutic tool, but what you can expect when your therapist’s business card says Terry the Therapist), and how eavesdropping helped him change how he relates to the world.
Learning to Swim on an Ironing Board is a new piece of work commissioned by HOME especially for PUSH Festival 2019.
“[Conor A] does his best to give it a shape and a few punchlines, finding humour and hope in the changes that fibromyalgia has brought to his life… It’s messy, but charmingly so.” – The Guardian
“A fantastically entertaining hour; educational, funny, serious, and always with warmth and light. Conor A has a talent for comedy and a flair for performance that I would love to see again.” – Reviewer Number 9
“Conor A. makes his show instantly welcoming and intimate, physically greeting people as they enter the theatre… Delivers plenty of laughs alongside a genuine, honest insight into living with an invisible disability… A funny, delightful show that teaches you to look at the world a little differently.” – The Play’s the Thing
“A delightful evening – welcoming, thought-provoking, rib-tickling and rousingly honest… Whilst we’re encouraged to put laughter over empathy, I can’t help loving Mr A and Terry just a little bit. I’m hoping that’s OK.” – Emma Hopley Reviews
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