Can Stand Up - Don't Want To!

Tonally and thematically, Can Stand Up - Don’t Want To! is all over the place. Ostensibly a satire on our libertarian values, it succeeds in being awkward without ever being particularly funny. The story follows Andrew, an able-bodied man who wants to be recognised as disabled. He meets Rob, who it turns out also has an equally weird though emotionally jarring desire, the nature of which emerges throughout the play. The comparison between the two desires never really makes sense and the ending completely fails to resolve anything. Indeed the play doesn’t end, it just stops.

Both performances are often stilted and uncomfortable to watch.

The stretches in the script go beyond the amusingly ridiculous into the outright bizarre. Within a couple of minutes, Rob, who works for Amnesty and has been sent to reason with Andrew, is pretending to be blind and dancing like a madman. It is impossible to believe in Rob at all.

As a member of Amnesty we imagine he will be the voice of reason, but he turns out to be even weirder than Andrew. Intellectually too, he is bizarrely jarring. He reads Joyce and quotes, “the ineluctable modality of the visible,” but he also has a teddy bear with which he converses earnestly. Andrew is more believable, being a little more one-note. However, both performances are often stilted and uncomfortable to watch.

Incredibly, Andrew wears a T-shirt that advertises the name of the show, the venue that it’s on at and its running time. Evidently it is the same T-shirt he wears while flyering on the Mile. This may be some clever post-modern trickery, but given the largely shambolic nature of the rest of the play I am more tempted to interpret it simply as a basic lack of attention to detail.

A good idea badly executed, Can Stand Up - Don’t Want To! is paper-thin with a script that still feels like a work in progress. 

Reviews by Rory Mackenzie

Pleasance Dome


Pleasance Courtyard

Girl from Nowhere

Gilded Balloon


Pleasance Courtyard

Boris: World King

C venues - C nova

Some Thing New

Pleasance Courtyard



Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Do you believe in equal rights? Are you pro-choice? If a man can be a woman and a woman can be a man, can an abled man choose to be disabled? My mind, my legs - my choice! Can Stand Up – Don’t Want To! takes a no holds barred approach to the question of choice, of the right to choose and the right not to choose, of choosiness in general. Part absurd comedy, part insanity, featuring songs (well … at least one), possible dance and an improvised wheelchair! Directed by Chris O'Rourke.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets