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Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, review: Kerbs

Kerbs, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, to March 5.

Review by Sue Beech

Kerbs is a modern take on dating and getting past the initial ‘best impression’ interactions to a closer and more trusting relationship - and the fact that both Lucy and David are wheelchair users adds another level of complexity to their situation.

This is a co-production for Coventry City of Culture 2021 from the Belgrade and Graeae Theatre Company; the latter has for 40 years championed the best in disabled theatrical talent in the UK and beyond. One of the company's most memorable productions was the hit Ian Dury musical Reasons to be Cheerful, so the audience's expectations would have been high – and they were not disappointed.

The cast of three are outstanding: Rekha John-Cheriyan portrays two very different characters with aplomb, while Maya Coates and Jack Hunter are like all young people looking for love – or at least for some fun, and maybe a good lay.

They find each other on a dating app, but despite initial good vibes the first date doesn’t go too well. Lucy’s mum is over-protective, and the pair need some space to get to know each other. However, getting away from it all for a weekend is more complicated if you need personal care and assistance just to get through the day. And who knew that a body hoist could be a sex toy!

Kerbs is not for you if you are upset by strong language and/or simulated sex scenes – but this reviewer found it enormously engaging and enjoyable. The issues facing disabled people in developing relationships and finding romance and sexual fulfilment were tackled with realism and honesty.

And above all, it was full of humour and made the audience laugh and cheer.



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