ED2023 Reviews ED2023 Theatre Reviews

Self-Raising (Graeae Theatre Company, in association with Theatr Iolo and Soho Theatre)

By | Published on Thursday 10 August 2023

As a teenager, Jenny Sealey’s summer job was retouching pictures at her dad’s photo studio. Domestic photographs animate ‘Self-Raising’, showing the seemingly ordinary Nottingham family in which Sealey grew up, a Deaf child who was ‘raised hearing’. But ‘the camera never lies’ is just that, another lie; and in an hour of gripping, impeccably staged confessional theatre, Sealey retouches her family’s self-image, maintained through repression and deceit. With tenderness and charisma, Sealey makes you believe in theatre’s power to ‘work through’ the past. Integrated British Sign Language and audio description deepen the play’s examination of the fallibility of any one narrative: simultaneously image, text, and voice, the play’s revelations dwell in the disjunctions between different ways of telling.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Alexander Hartley]