Aug 12, 14-19, 21-26 - Greenside @ Nicolson Square
Step into the world of neurodivergence with Pip and experience a captivating journey through her life with ADHD. With storytelling, sketches, personal anecdotes, and even a trumpet performance, Pip navigates the challenges and celebrates the joys of living with ADHD. Gain insight into the often-overlooked experiences of women with ADHD and explore how it has affected Pip's coming-out journey and self-acceptance.
We return to the world of ADHD again this week in Pip Dawson’s Character Flaw. Earlier this week in our detailed review of ‘Why Am I Like This?’ which is playing just down the street from this show we explored why we are seeing a wave of in particular female lead shows talking about neurodivergent conditions and the long road to this moment that I’d recommend you read by clicking here.
For many in the public, there is the historical association of ADHD as being something hyper young boys have which has been an issue which has invalidated the experience of many in particular women for generations. Dawson explains the three types of ADHD diagnosis which are the inattentive type, characterised by difficulties in sustaining attention and following through on instructions; the Hyperactive-Impulsive type marked by restlessness and impulsive actions and the combined type which is a blend of the two. Dawson’s one-woman show is a fascinating blend of artist and condition in how it is constructed and how these types can display, contradict and challenge and frustrate an individual through a range of what might seem like unrelated skits but paint a larger picture about ADHD.
Dawson highlights that one aspect of ADHD that gets treated like a superhero trait is hyper-focus. Hyper-focus is a state of intense concentration and absorption in a task, often to the point of losing track of time and surroundings. It can be contrasted with another type of ADHD where there can be forgetfulness and turning up late. Dawson brings this to life by being “late” for her show.
Dawson's construction of the show is that of a woman in a state of hyper-focus and in a flow state which can happen for ADHD individuals when they are passionate about a topic. Dawson pulls examples from her life of how her ADHD impacted her which might seem random but tell the fuller picture of how certain behaviours are missed in women.
Hyper-focus is something that needs a structure to thrive in or people will miss breaks, work to the point of exhaustion or strains on relationships. Dawson can channel her hyper-focus and passion into delivering what audiences and the general public need to see to be able to learn from and that is rich and colourful lived experience examples and to move away from the language and ingrained sexism of the medical model.
It is incredibly challenging for anyone to put themselves out there during the fringe but for neurodivergent individuals dealing with the anxiety, potential negative feedback from audiences or critics and the many struggles that go along with it. It should not be taken for granted what an amazing job Dawson does to be so vulnerable on stage, to share her deepest fears, embarrassments and past traumas.
The media and those within it have been so quick to label the rising numbers of ADHD diagnoses as a trend, others make a platform of making the most hateful of comments the LGBTQI+ where studies have shown there is a higher prevalence of neurodivergent conditions among them. Dawson proudly gives so much of who she is, and what she stands for and paints her world and the show with a rainbow. For those who came to the show with shared experiences or those learning about the range of ADHD for the first time, there are plenty of nodding heads throughout and Dawson’s message is resonating and it’s her who deserves the platform.
Book your tickets here > Edinburgh Fringe - Character Flaw