Tuesday, October 3

ADHD The Musical: Can I Have Your Attention Please – Shakespeare North Playhouse

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a condition that includes symptoms such as being restless and having trouble concentrating. If you fancy concentrating (or not and simply getting lost in this production) for 70-minutes then why not check out ‘ADHD The Musical: Can I Have Your Attention Please’ as this new piece of passionate theatre embarks on its 2023 tour.

Written and performed by Dora Colquhoun, ADHD The Musical tells the story of Dora’s exploration and challenges she faced as she gets her diagnosis as a neurodivergent adult. Touching on work, family, relationships and revelations that come in the form of a Lush Bath Bomb it follows the format of Dora answering the questions that would show signs of an Adult with ADHD. It is a piece of theatre that takes a moment to get used to, but the middle-latter moments have the right pace and direction I felt.

Dora has clearly put her heart and soul into the development of this project, and it shows in her performance as she springs around the space with the energy of a Duracell bunny who has just finished eating a Dip Dab. Personally, the more emotive scenes really show off her skills as a performer and I felt thoroughly engaged with several thought provoking moments that really played in my mind – as she displayed her vulnerability beautifully. It is not the standard musical you’re probably used to, and I am okay with that. However, there was times when the vocals felt slightly sharp, but this was the first performance of this tour – so I am sure this will be ironed out. There are some ‘toe tapping’ songs throughout but some lyrics that didn’t really flow. However, humour throughout was not in short supply. It was great to see the involvement of the audience and the introduction of ‘Simon’ really added another dimension to the performance and a chance for Dora to show her experience as a performer as she was faced with a ‘barely legal’ situation…

Costumes & Props work well throughout this production (I want that Yellow Jumpsuit) – the inclusion of yellow throughout brought everything together visually and artistically and the use of the bear to symbolise shame was impactful and the direction throughout with this bear was solid.

It’s clear to see that this musical is a collaborative effort with support for example from The ADHD Foundation – I really appreciated the hand outs and information as it makes it a more inclusive and learning experience for all those attending. Also, it is great to see the inclusion of BSL Interpreters for all performances alongside a Q&A afterwards to consolidate and query the 70-minutes of quirky theatre. Overall, ADHD: The Musical is (A)dventurous, (D)elightful, (H)earty and (D)ynamic. It’s worth a see and for me – worth a phone call to my GP afterwards just to check the results of my ‘Do You Show Signs of Adult ADHD?’. You can catch it at the beautiful Shakespeare North Playhouse until 22nd July 2023 before it heads to Scarborough and other places throughout the UK.

Reviewer: Daniel Cox

Reviewed: 19th July 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.