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Have You Tried Yoga? Melbourne Fringe - Review

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by Erin Davidson (subscribe)
I am a lover of live comedy, engrossing films, scenic hikes, social enterprises, delicious food and unique experiences. I write about the many ways people can give back to causes they care about here:
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Have you tried something different this Fringe Festival?
Have Your Tried Yoga? is an insightful, moving and at times humorous performance by Rachel Edmonds that gives the audience a glimpse in their life of living with a disability.

Rachel Edmonds
Rachel Edmonds

While many people may have the best of intentions, it's statements like, "You just need to find the positive side of things," and "C'mon, smile, it's not all that bad," do not have the desired effect on anybody who knows first-hand the everyday challenges of living with a disability.

Rachel tells of how they can be made to feel invisible when travelling in a wheelchair, and yet judged when the disability is not visible enough. Have you Tried Yoga? aims to generate understanding, not sympathy.

Have you tried yoga
Have you Tried Yoga? main show image

As the show's image suggests, HYTY serves as a kind of metaphorical middle finger to all of those people who force their uninvited opinions on others, when really they might learn something if they just sat and listened to someone else's experience.

If you haven't heard of the term ableism, it's time you looked it up.

Scenes from Rachel's life are played out through the impressive role-switching talents of co-star Martin Astifo, as the format alternates between monologue and dialogue.

Martin Astifo
Martin Astifo

Stories from Rachel are interspersed with audio of real-life accounts and interviews with people from the community that add another layer to the show and further insights.

Rachel explains their frustrations with the medical system, describes the pain that they feel, recounts friendships lost and love found. You also get an insight into why things like dancing, of course yoga and even attending a festival show, should not be taken for granted.
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Why? Step outside your comfort zone
When: 15 - 30 September 2018
Where: Bluestone Church Arts Space - 8A Hyde St, Footscray
Cost: $20 - $30
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