We all know about those superheroes who powers are great – immense strength, x-ray vision and so on; but what about people whose powers are a lot less super? Shunned at school, misunderstood by others, can super non-heroes ever hope for love, success or happiness? This clever, fast-paced piece is a look at their stories, combining poetry and physical theatre, and it will have you laughing and smiling throughout.
Though, as the title suggests, the children in these poems suffer for their differences, each tale is a heart-warming look at how embracing your differences can make them your strengths. From the boy with the clockwork heart who tries to slow down time to challenge the mean PE teacher, to how the girl with hurricane hands and the boy of the sun work together to nurture flowers in the desert, these extraordinary people have heart, humour and hope in abundance.
The pleasing rhythm and rhyme of the verse is engaging; fans of comic poets such as Colin McNaughton and Spike Milligan will love the bizarre tales this original writing brings. Few props are used, but those that are present are cleverly employed with great humour and comic timing, or for very meaningful effect. Underpinning the humour, there’s a hopeful message of acceptance and a celebration of differences.
For those concerned about content, the show has one implied rhyme for a mild swear word, implied relationships between parents and inanimate objects, and scenes of “childbirth”, all very gentle. The show is also suitable for everyone from older children to adults who enjoy absurd stories.
The changeovers between stories are where the production could use some work. Without lighting to cue the end of each section, many in the audience were unsure when to clap, particularly as the changes were often very abrupt. The dialogue between the stories doesn't flow as well as it does within the tales themselves; whether this is from nerves (it is a very intimate venue) or just because it is not in the verse and rhyme scheme of the stories, it’s somehow not quite as slick.
This show is well worth getting up early for: I felt genuinely uplifted by the end, after beaming throughout. Well-written verse, slick acting and great characters make this a noteworthy show with a wide appeal.