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Don't. Make. Tea. show poster

Don't. Make. Tea. at Soho Theatre

Dates: (26/3/2024 - 6/4/2024 )

Theatre:

Soho Theatre

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company

21 Dean Street
London, W1D 3NE

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Another bloody serious comedy from Birds of Paradise Theatre Company.

Scotland’s preeminent disability-led theatre company Birds of Paradise are set to mark their 30th anniversary with a UK wide tour of their dark comedy thriller Don’t Make Tea. A witty ridiculing of the welfare state, the show explores a futuristic benefits regime through the assessment of Chris as she is forced to claim benefits. With bitingly satirical dialogue, and cutting-edge accessible staging interwoven through the show, Don’t Make Tea confronts the lengths disabled people must go to in order to preserve themselves in an unjust system.

In the year 2030, fiercely independent Chris has no choice but to give up her job when her condition deteriorates. Forced to claim benefits, she is paid a visit by the spirited WorkPay employee Ralph, who is tasked with assessing her suitability for aid under the new regime. As it becomes increasingly apparent that the new system Ralph places so much faith in has little intension of granting Chris the assistance she needs, she must confront just how far she must be willing to go to save herself.

Seamlessly blending the bleak realities of attempting to claim benefits with laugh-out-loud black comedy, Don’t Make Tea is an intensely absurd, wildly entertaining illustration of a plausible near future. Birds of Paradise are thrilled to be bringing this production to audiences around the UK, after an acclaimed run at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre in 2022.

All performances are captioned and have creatively embedded BSL interpretation and audio description.

Writer Rob Drummond comments, This is a piece I have been thinking about writing for a long time - since becoming aware of the inherent, often Kafkaesque, drama involved in undertaking a disability assessment in this country. The play I had in mind, however, has been greatly enhanced by the provocations and challenges gifted to me by BOP and their associates. I’m proud of what we’ve come up with - a dark comedy that doesn’t claim to have all the answers but hopefully asks a lot of the right questions, in a way that aims to heal political divides rather than exacerbate them.

Artistic Director Robert Softley Gale says We're thrilled to be bringing back this hit production showcasing our dynamic approach to creatively embedded access and placing the stories of disabled people centre stage across the UK. This show feels frighteningly relevant to our lives right now.

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is Scotland’s leading touring theatre company employing disabled and non-disabled actors. Established in 1993, BOP became disability led in 2012 and now focuses on delivering work across BOP Theatre, BOP Development and BOP Strategy strands to have the widest impact locally and internationally. As BOP enters its 30th anniversary year, the company’s work continues to impact on the diversity of the wider cultural landscape, remaining world-renowned for integrating access into all its productions, and in developing work that addresses disability with honestly, integrity, and humour.

Previous praise for Don’t Make Tea

Laugh-out-loud comedy and psychological thriller - The Quinntessential Review

Brings a laser-like focus to the current plight of disabled people in Britain - The Scotsman

A thoroughly macabre and deliciously humorous lampooning of the welfare state and its callous misunderstandings – Edinburgh Guide

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