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Stupid! by Michael Medlicott

Directed by Frank Kennedy
Liverpool Network Theatre Group
The Arts Centre, Myrtle Street, Liverpool
Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd March 2007

A play which deals with the ignorance which surrounds dyslexia may not be everybody's idea of a great night out, but new Liverpool playwright, Mike Medlicott, pulls it off with humour and honesty, even poking fun at himself at times.

Arts Centre

Arts Centre
Myrtle Street, Liverpool


Stupid!
is a semi-autobiographical play which charts the journey of main character, Michael, played by Mike Sanders, through school, work, and finally university, to find out whether he is dyslexic. The play concentrates on Michael's experiences with professionals from doctors, to teachers and university lecturers, exploring Michael's own need to understand his condition and his frustration at trying to get others to do the same.

Medlicott hopes that his play will help people with dyslexia, "profit from this message, (one of ignorance, indifference, and antipathy,) to acquire a more equal future."

As a child, brilliant at maths but unable to read and write Michael accuses himself of being "too stupid to go to a school for stupid kids." The audience shares in the problems Michael encounters at work and how he manages to scrape out of them.

There are times during the play when some of the situations Michael finds himself in seem a little hard to believe. This is especially true of Michael's treatment by his university professor, an overly nasty character. At one point in the play the actors accuse the writer of turning it into a rant, and highlight the reality that not all of the "facts" are entirely true.

Main actor, Mike Sanders, worked hard to successfully convey Michael's frustration and as always, The Network theatre company gave it all they've got.

The play comes full circle as just before the Michael is about to leave university, he finally realises that he doesn't need to prove anything to other people or to himself. This is a brave play that opens up one man's hopes and fears to public scrutiny and leaves the audience with a lot to think about.

By Michelle Greer

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