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All Of Us review: ‘immaculate comic timing’ but lacks ‘under the weight of its ambition’ | Theatre | Entertainment

An apparently able blonde woman, Rita (Lucy Briers), sits opposite her. But Rita hasn’t left her house for six months and keeps reaching for the hand sanitiser. As an agoraphobia and OCD sufferer, she is the patient, Jess is her therapist.

The debut play from actress and stand-up comic Martinez continues in this vein as a variety of disabilities are addressed and then not so much undermined as carpet bombed with humour.

As a comic, Martinez knows the value of a good pay-off and has immaculate comic timing. When spitfire Poppy (Francesca Mills) roars on in her seemingly rocketpowered wheelchair to demand her right to a Tinder-fuelled sex life and chips with vinegar, it becomes a raucous, anarchic and joke-fuelled narrative.

However, there is a riptide of righteous anger at the way disabled people are forced to cope with austerity measures that reduce their benefits and their sense of worth too.

The play starts to sag under the sheer weight of its ambition and by throwing in a counter argument about benefits fraud, a spurious romance between Jess and an aggressive alcoholic (Bryan Dick) and, worst of all, an unlikely coincidence involving the local Tory MP (Michael Gould), Martinez undoes some of the good work she sets up.

  • All Of Us. National Theatre until September 24 Tickets: 020 3989 5455




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