Review: Chop, Dissolve, Burn (Newcastle Fringe, online)

Presented and performed by WANCS (Richard Boggie and Lisette Auton), this reading of Chop, Dissolve, Burn at the Alphabetti Theatre is both a knowing black comedy and an informative set of statistics about disability hate crime.

The show, which from the title you may surmise involves a dead body, is a black comedy that will have you squirming in your seat. This play relentlessly pokes fun at society’s attitudes towards disability, whilst exposing the terrifying truth about the impacts of inequality on disabled people’s lives.

Chop, Dissolve, Burn is not an easy watch, although it starts from a completely proposterous anecdote about an accidental death. As it says in the blurb, “when disabled and non-disabled worlds collide, the consequences can be serious; or they can be seriously funny”. Fully captioned and BSL interpreted, this is an accessible production for everyone.

Promotional image frok Chop, Dissolve, Burn

Peter and Rose have known each other for years, from twenty years ago at university. After a year of shielding, who is in the next room and what hasit got to do with these “poor, vulnerable people”? Will these former lovers take unthinkable steps to restart their lives outside of lockdown?

Wickedly amusing and challenging all and any prejudices or assumptions you might have about disability, Chop, Burn, Dissolve is a lot of twisted fun with an underlying message to make you think.

With a dash of the absurb, a dollop of the macabre, and a bloodthirsty guide dog, Auton and Boggie have created a show which will keep you guessing, amused, and perhaps just a little bit guilty. This pair are not weak or self-pitying and that makes this play even stronger.

This reading was staged and streamed on 4 August as part of the Newcastle Fringe Festival – it was created using NFF’s seed-pot funding for under-represented theatre makers.