Scrounger Wheels Disability Discrimination Into The Spotlight At Finborough Theatre
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Athena Stevens turns her experiences, with an airline that damaged her wheelchair and refused to pay for a replacement, into a sharp and an incisive piece on how discrimination affects disabled people. The incident led to her confinement in her flat in Elephant and Castle for months while she tweeted about the experience and gained media attention.
It's an exciting and angry piece of storytelling that puts you in her shoes. Stevens is a detailed storyteller, and she expertly covers the everyday ordeals that people with disabilities face. From the passive aggressive remarks uttered by flight attendants to friends who have trouble thinking that Elephant and Castle is a part of central London. It's all told with humour, warmth and a healthy amount of outrage.
While the case was eventually settled, she explains — as far as her non-disclosure agreement allows — how people, including liberal-minded theatregoers, are accomplices in disability discrimination. It seems that in the era of woke, it doesn't always translate into woke actions.
She is assisted by Leigh Quinn who plays a series of supporting characters. What emerges is of conflict avoiding able-bodied people, poorly written regulations and general ignorance and indifference.
You don't need to look far to see disability discrimination in the real world either. The Finborough Theatre no longer has accessible toilets since the Finborough Arms pub (which shares the building) ripped them out. There is now a small kitchen serving bog-standard food instead. Welcome to 2020. No accessibility but plenty of chicken wings and scampi.
Scrounger, Finborough Theatre, Finborough Road, SW10 9ED. Tickets £14-£20, until 1 February 2020.
Last Updated 15 January 2020