Kinetics at Dorchester Corn Exchange

playskinetics1A PLAY about early-onset Parkinson’s Disease and Parkour might sound a bit heavy-going and a trifle improbable, but Kinetics is neither.

Sue Wylie has deftly turned a serious medical diagnosis into an inspiring journey, and a barmy extreme sport into an accessible and exciting adventure.

Sue is well-known as an actress, both professionally and as a stalwart of Dorchester’s world-record-setting community plays. So it was no surprise that the Corn Exchange in the county town was filled to the rafters for the second performance of her play.

Its inspiration comes as a shock to many who know her. Shortly after her 50th birthday she realised that her left hand was noticeably slower than her right. Typing became unbalanced. Other little things happened to her body.

Off she went to the GP, and was referred to a consultant, expecting a diagnosis of a trapped nerve. It was much, much worse. She had early-onset Parkinsons.

Then, out of the clear blue sky, she met a student whose passion was free running, and they became friends.

She has woven their stories into a compelling play that unravels the human need for movement and connection.

Lukas (played by Laszlo di Corti) is Swiss, a super-bright 16-year-old bored with school and frustrated by purposeless rules. Parkour is his prohibited nocturnal escape.

Rose (Sue Wylie) is also awake at night, stretching her body to avoid sleeping cramps. When Lukas comes crashing into her life, she takes it in her stride.

They become firm and kind friends, able take out their anger and frustrations on one other without risking their relationship. Each inspires the other with their courage.

The other men – a teacher and a patient – are played by Steve Rollins.

The play cleverly captures  the black humour that surrounds illness, the widespread judgmental attitudes and the cliches that are a common default position.

Kinetics is sad, funny, inspiring and beautifully balanced, and the Dorchester performance even involved a brief appearance by the local Parkour runners.

It is headed out on tour in 2016. Look out for dates.


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