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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,342
Location: Long Island, New York

02 Sep 2022, 7:29 am

Our sexy punk cabaret aims to end the infantilisation of autistic people like me

What do you think when you hear the words “disability art”? Some sort of community project probably springs to mind – which, as a neurodivergent and autistic performer, I’m proud to have been in myself. But you probably don’t think of shameless, sexy, punk crip cabaret, of actors smoking on stage, sharing their fantasies, sex in the air. That’s where Not F**kin’ Sorry comes in.

Not F**kin’ Sorry aims to challenge audience’s preconceptions of disability. At the start of the rehearsal process, we had extensive discussions about the layers of discrimination we have each experienced. Through this collaborative sharing within the company, it became apparent that our varying disabilities bore many labels and social taboos. This discrimination is based on other people’s (mis)perceptions around learning disability, physical disability, neurodiversity, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, mental health, fat/deviant bodies, speech… the list continues.

We use parody and testimony as well as lip syncs, sweaty dances and verbatim stories to make audiences think twice about how they have bought into the concept of “survival of the fittest”. We seduce the audience by gently implicating them in the continuing discrimination that is all around us.

We embrace all our different bodies, genders, disabilities and sexualities – and explore the fact that sexuality and being sexy is different to different people.

When we first started making this show, every single one of us – me included – kept apologising in the rehearsal studio when we felt we weren’t doing the right thing, or if we got a line wrong. Liselle Terret, our director, made a game of it and said, “No, you’re not sorry.” So we started saying “We’re not sorry!” whenever we thought we’d made a mistake. This became our mantra, and moved us into having more pride in who we are and what we were making. Ultimately, it became the title of the show.

Not F**kin’ Sorry is on at Soho Theatre from 31 Aug – 3 Sep, at Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester, on 16 Sept, and at Contact Theatre, Manchester, on 29 and 30 Sept

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman