Exploring the ways in which we communicate, No Fun Ction All Anguage is a beautifully visual and powerful piece. The inclusive ensemble of differently-abled cast members offered a powerful critique of normative ideas around communication, ability, access and inclusivity – topics which are all too often skirted around or ignored entirely.
I adored the use of Physical Theatre and South African Sign Language as methods of non-verbal communication in the piece, as they made the performance all the more moving and entrancing. The Director, South Africa-based Jayne Batzofin, told me, “We created our own alphabet in movement. We created our own language that belongs to No Fun Ction All Anguage. If we got stuck, we would say ‘let’s spell out the frustration in our movement language.'”
“We created our own alphabet in movement” – JAYNE BATZOFIN
As such, the choreography was inclusively devised around the unique needs of those in the cast, whilst also being reflective of some experiences shared by the wider differently-abled community.
What was also interesting was the commentary that the piece gave about the communication struggles of able-bodied people. It explored, for instance, how living in a society that is obsessed with social media and mobile phones is changing the way we interact with everybody around us.
Creating a performance as beautiful as this was a great way to demonstrate what inclusivity looks like. In its innovation, No Fun Ction All Anguage should be an inspiration to other Theatre Companies worldwide.