Underbelly
5-29 August, 16:10


Suzanna's life is one long juggling act. Between her job at a top restaurant, her part-time history of art course and caring for her severely autistic teenaged son Timothy, Suzanna has barely a moment of calm.

Timothy is the size of a man but has the temperament and communication skills of a toddler, and Suzanna is frequently overcome by him, both emotionally and physically. We can empathise with her situation, but The Fragility of X doesn't go far enough in terms of character development to feel like anything other than a series of interminable scenes in which mother and son shout at each other and cry. The slapstick scene-change sequences that break up the drama are in poor taste and add nothing to what little narrative there is.

The play highlights some ugly truths about the challenges of disability within 21st-century family life, but beyond this and a remarkable performance by Andrew Ellis as Timothy, there is little to recommend this ill-conceived show.