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Courtesy Ottawa Fringe.

Fringe Review: Speech from The Throne: Living With A Disability in Canada

By Amanda Dookie on June 18, 2022

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Speech from The Throne: Living With A Disability in Canada
Created by Michael Lifshitz
Produced by Illumabilities (Ottawa)
60m | M | Comedy
Content warnings: Sexual Content, Mature Language

Michael Lifshitz is a comedian originally from Montreal who shares his experience living in Canada with a disability in an entertaining 55-minute solo comedy act. While there may be fewer disabled comedians in Canada, maybe making his self-deprecating disability jokes uncommon to most comedy-goers, the performance does not lack some other common elements of a Canadian comedy set, such as a healthy dose of slightly vulgar references to sex, Canada’s health care system, and Quebec separatism. Michael had the crowd laughing consistently throughout his performance, and I enjoyed being a part of the audience.

In his act, Michael described how his disability affects his day-to-day life, by shedding light on certain common situations that disabled people find themselves in that may be less than desirable, such as travelling and attending events at venues that are not wheelchair accessible. Michael’s outlook on living with a disability helped the audience to have fun with him without worrying too much about the fact that his jokes were not super politically correct—including towards disabled people. However, I thought the experiences Michael shared about people who assumed he couldn’t go to school, work, or even just use the bathroom on his own was a serious reminder that making assumptions about marginalized groups only serve to drive us further apart from members of society that may not look, sound, or move, like the majority.

In the end, Michael Lifshitz may have a disability, but he’s also just a really funny guy and if you like comedy, you should check out his show.

Photo Credit: Shannon Duncan


Speech from The Throne: Living With A Disability in Canada by Michael Lifshitz is playing at LabO (60 Waller Street) until June 26, 2022. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at https://apt613.ca/category/festival/fringe/.

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