Disabled Life

Lets go out it’s Saturday night

A friend of mine was performing in the recent comedy festival so I decided to make an effort and go and see her show. She’s been performing for a while but due to circumstance or other commitments/late notice. I’ve never seen her doing stand up on stage.

8pm I’m waiting on the corner for the bus as Beach Havens dogs take their owners for a walk. (Almost every dog in the haven is large or will be large in a few months.). The bus pulls up and as I get on “Where are you going at this time of night?” says the driver. Because ya know I’m crippled and on my own and I could get robbed, beaten, murdered, raped, eaten by a beach haven dog, kidnapped, taken and sold with no Liam Neeson to rescue me. Part of me wants to tell him many impolite versions of “please be quiet.” but that’s not gonna help the situation and he’s not the first person to express shock that I’m out and about after 6pm. “The city” I mean it says that on the front of the bus so it’s kinda obvious. “Your keen.”….”Yup”. I must remember to get a note from my Mum and a chastity belt so everyone feels better about me going out.

Some time during the journey this Goth guy get’s on. A lot of black and makeup. “Going to a fancy dress party eh. hahah.” This guy is at least condescending to everybody.

8:50pm Town is pretty quiet. I head into a cafe and get a coffee to stop myself unintentionally nodding off during the show. This is a precaution I’ve taken for a while.

I once went to see a friend in a play at The Maidment. It wasn’t a great show and I began fading near the end of the first half. This play was a big deal for her. A well respected director and a leading New Zealand actress. I was 2 rows from the front dead centre. One of the guys in the play was incredibly out of his depth and really bored me. It’s not a thing I would usually notice. But everyone in the play is better then him. Well my friend came on in the second half and at some point I yawned. Not loudly and I didn’t disturb the show. But it was seen by her. Now we’re acquaintances.

After the coffee. I make my way to the venue. It’s new so I go early to get the lay of the land. It’s next door to The Basement.

The Basement is a great theatre venue if you want to see new talent and shows. It’s quite affordable compared to a lot of theatre and an ideal place to go if you’ve never seen a play before and were curious about it. The bars good and the staff are very friendly. They  provide a great deal for people putting on shows and it’s affordable for performers just starting out.

BUT.

Their disabled access is abysmal, possibly minimal assuming they have a ramp they bring out to help people in wheelchairs access the main theatre. There is no disabled toilet despite renovations and at this point I don’t think there ever will be. I hardly go there now unless I’m supporting friends. The final straw was them skirting the issue by simply printing “Sorry no disabled access” on their advertising. Well if you’re sorry don’t worry about it bro.

Here is their response from an email I sent in 2012 with info about getting funding for disabled access

Because the council own the building, it might be their responsibility to help us fix the problem.
That was in 2012 there’s been renovations since and still no change. The shows there are worth seeing and the writers, directors and actors are worth supporting and seeing. I just wish the venue would be more supportive of potential patrons. There is a shortage of disabled people involved in the arts and very little encouragement for them if they can’t even access a venue determined to help up and comers.
10PM Showtime. It was great. I really enjoyed it and I’m glad I saw it. There are one or two people yelling stuff in the back. It’s a small venue, they’re not funny just drunk.
11:25 I wander into town and decide to get the last bus home. Mistake. A tall drunk asks me about my night. Somehow me telling him what I’d seen that evening leads to him believing I am a stand up comedian. “What’s ya stage name?” …WTF
“Struts” “Ok Scott. I promote comedy in Australia. I’ll keep an eye out for you.” He heads off to find a kebab and me I flag down a cab and go home.
 
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