Snatched currently running at Soho Upstairs and is written and performed by previous Coronation Street actor Melissa Johns, following her life prior to her dreams of becoming an actor, dating in her teens and mastering riding the bike.
Melissa was born missing a forearm, of which only seems like a big deal to everyone else. We are taken through a rabbit hole all the moments that revealed something new to her. From the first moment of feeling romantic love, where she strategically hid her arm to avoid any prior judgement to the moment her agent rang her to reveal that her naked pictures were leaked and about to be in the papers. Johns is a firecracker as she dances around from scene to scene revealing how the comments from others pushed her into heavily critiquing the things she cannot change and wouldn’t want to and rather question why everyone had such strong opinions about her and ‘wiggly’. She is a natural comedian whose humour runs through the script effortlessly and hits you out of nowhere. Running alongside her is an amazing accompanist Imogen Hasley bringing us all the way back to the 90’s and 00’s with live renditions pairing beautifully with Melissa’s story.
It’s incredibly honest and open, not only revealing some of the most traumatic moments of her life but expressing the ‘otherness’ that having a disability can bring in an industry that is consistently questioning and judging the bodies of those on screen.
Very strong and effective ideas from director, Lily Levin who nestled the piece fantastically making it exciting and emotional to watch her grow up in front of us and perform her final dance alongside her younger self via home videos. Really beautiful, emotional and full of pride for Johns to be able to take charge of her story, her body and her life.
Brilliant to see someone taking a stand, taking centre stage and laughing her whole way through with the brightest smile and the brightest energy.
Reviewer: Alice Rose
Reviewed:18th May 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★