CripTales

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
CripTales TV Poster Image
Stellar groundbreaking monologues shed light on disability.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The performances are meant to challenge stereotypes and negative beliefs about living with a disability. 

Positive Role Models

The cast consists of a diverse group of actors, writers, and directors who identify as disabled persons. They bring to light some of the challenges and history of discrimination faced by disabled individuals over the past 50 years. Some of the characters discuss illegal behaviors. 

Violence

Themes include amputations, abuses by the medical community, discrimination, incarceration, and other difficult topics.

Sex

There's some strong innuendo, including comments about feeling attractive, flirting, threesomes, and having children. 

Language

The word "s--t" is frequently used.  

Consumerism

Occasional references to things like Twix candy bars and other random items, but these aren’t offered in a specific commercial context. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are occasional references to drinking and getting drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that CripTales is a British compilation of performed monologues written, directed, and performed by people with disabilities. It challenges stereotypes about disability, the discrimination against disabled people, and their contributions to society. It also includes some suggestive innuendo, like comments about flirting, threesomes, and having children. There's some profanity ("s--t") as well as references and conversations about drinking and getting drunk. This series was released in October 2020 to honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

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What's the story?

Hosted by His Dark Materials' Mat Fraser, CRIPTALES features dramatic monologues written, directed, and performed by self-identified disabled individuals. Each of the six 15-minute fictional presentations, which are based on research and real-life experiences, captures a life-changing moment for a disabled person that took place some time over the last 50 years. From an actor born with thalidomide-induced birth defects getting ready to go into an audition, to a woman who is processing the looming amputation of her leg to control deadly blood clots, each story offers dramatic insight into what life is like for someone living with a disability. 

Is it any good?

This special event program, which was released in October 2020 to honor National Disability Employment Awareness month, uses fictional monologues to portray 50 years of British disability history. A diverse group of British actors who identify as disabled, including Mat Fraser, Jackie Hagan, Matilda Ibini, and Robert Softley Gale, deliver outstanding performances meant to challenge stereotypes about disability and the disabled. 

Each narrative is fictional, but thanks to the honest and powerful way they're delivered it's impossible not to appreciate the truth behind their messages. There are some uncomfortable moments, too, as the long history of systemic disability discrimination -- and the frustrations of those who are forced to negotiate it -- are highlighted and underscored. But CripTales also pays homage to the creative work and talent of the self-identified disabled persons who worked on this project, and their insistence on being visible and heard. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way each CripTales performer addresses disability. How does each individual experience speak to the challenges faced by people who identify as disabled? How does each person confront them?

  • Have the stereotypes and negative attitudes about disabilities decreased over the past 50 years? Are more people with disabilities employed now? What role has the media played in these changes?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about disabilities

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