Dora Colquhoun’s ADHD based musical begins slightly differently than most musical’s you may have seen. A short, prepared video set before life began, a goodie bag of treats under your seat, and the potentially made-up claim that she’s ‘running late’ start this vaudevillian production.
It’s a very autobiographical experience, and not one that shys away from oversharing, but only ever in an attempt to make you laugh and to make you understand the trials of a typical person with ADHD.
The performance articulates this perfectly as it switches seamlessly between musical numbers, fast paced monologues and costume changes. There’s a lot going on, but because of this, even outside of the things being said, you get an authentic feel of the ADHD experience.
It’s not all fun and games though. There are more somber moments throughout the production that detail some of the more gruesome statistics about substance abuse and its relationship with ADHD, and the creators own substance abuse in the past. How it manages to combine this with Cher parodies is something that really has to be seen though.
The show also features Karl Llorca providing sign language throughout, whilst joining in with the jokes himself occasionally. This blending of being inclusive and incorporating that into the humor of the show is something rarely seen, and really adds to the splendid chaos of the performance.
Whether the silly sense of humour is something that you’re a fan of or not, it’s hard not to become drawn into Colquhoun’s lovable performance, and even the most stony faced audience members will be singing along by the end.
ADHD The Musical provides an eye opening look into this world that is so often unexplored, and it allows the audience to not only understand it better, but to become a small part of it for an hour. The most enjoyable aspect though? Colquhoun looks like she’s having a ball.
Liverpool Theatre Festival is set to return in 2021 from 1 – 12 September with St Luke’s Bombed Out Church as the festival hub.
Written by Jamie Tichborne