NNF11 review: Graeae Theatre The Iron Man

Graeae Theatre

Millennium Plain, Norwich

Graeae Theatre is a disabled-led theatre company which outshines some able-bodied troupes.

Not only do they act extremely well, but they also manage to incorporate sign language into the action of the play.

Sounds complicated?

Looks simple: and brilliantly expressive. So much so, you wonder why signing isn't a natural part of the actor's training. Maybe it should be.

This is the world premiere of The Iron Man, and although it got off to a shaky start (stopped by rain at the 4.30 showing), it finally cranked, munched and scrunched its way into being to great applause.

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Ted Hughes's character, as reinterpreted for its outdoor stage, is 16ft 2in of scrap metal with dangling hands and a dustbin-shaped head.

It's propelled on giant wheels from a wheelchair at the base. There's something gently mournful about it from the start.

And when it finds itself philosophising with a fellow outsider, a human-eating-alien-batdragon, their reflections on the nature of humanity are poignant.

Spectacular is the word and a good watch for adults and children alike, with live music and a really 'big theatre' feel. EVE STEBBING

During the festival, City Academy Norwich students will be reviewing some of the events for the Evening News. They will then be holding an awards ceremony at the end of the festival called Children's Choice awards.

Graeae Theatre, The Iron Man

I really enjoyed the show, it was so creative and so much effort was clearly put into it. The individuality of the show stuck out a million miles. I also think it was cool because it was free for the public to see. It proves that people with disabilities are just as good at drama. Iron Man was the best show I have watched. Courtney Bale, 12

It was really good and I cried with laughter. It was good because they used sign language. The effort was fantastic and I would go to see them again. Madison Tuthill, 12

I really enjoyed The Iron Man; it was a great atmosphere to be in. The actors put in a lot of effort and they tried to put forward that everyone with different abilities can be like other people. I was shocked to see how big the Iron Man was, it was amazing. Amber Haylock, 11

I think this was a fantastic show and I'd definitely watch it again. I'd recommend it to everyone. It was a really funny show and it made me laugh out loud. It definitely had its own individual style and lots of imagination. It was good that they used sign language, it took lots of effort. Jess McGivern, 12

Today was very fun and unique. I watched The Iron Man. It was exciting and special. I liked the part where the Iron Man came back to life. Jordan Last, 12

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