Character Flaw

by Philippa Dawson in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,070

£3,500 target 26 days left
30% 12 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 20th August 2024 at 12:58pm

Help this Neurodiverse, Queer show on its way to Edinburgh. To spread queer joy and promote ADHD awareness and stories!

by Philippa Dawson in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

"I urge you to invest your time in Character Flaw. It is a show you could see again and again" ★★★★★ Theatre & Tonic

What are Character Flaws?

And why does Pip have so many?

Find out in this fearless, and award-winning, exploration of life with ADHD and understanding queer identity. A plethora of eye-opening topics, hysterical anecdotes and heart-breaking moments, leave the audience educated, moved, and highly entertained in what The Stage hailed as “A Fringe success”.


Character Flaw made its debut at Edinburgh Fringe in 2023, receiving huge amounts of praise and attention.  We had amazing reviews, beautiful audience feedback and incredibly the show was named as Brighton's ‘Pick of the Fringe’, winning the Excellence award and an invitation to Brighton Fringe.  

This was our first venture into fringe theatre. In 2023 Character Flaw was a baby show, in a wonderful, small venue, and with no funding or experience.  This year, with more experience, a stronger foundation, and most importantly - your help, we aim to spread our message and achieve our aims!

What is our message?

Has anyone ever told you your head is in the clouds?  Or called you too talkative? Forgetful?

What about stupid?  

Or an attention seeker? Unreliable, a failure, lazy, hopeless, or a liability?  Over the top, too sensitive, too loud, too much, careless, exhausting or a lost cause?

Studies by experts have shown that by age 10, children with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages – from parents, peers, or otherwise – than they do positive messages.

I (me, Pip, the writer!) grew up hearing and believing all of these words. 

We have grown up believing symptoms of ADHD are character flaws. Our show brings to life these 'flaws', helping people to recognise what they can look like and how they can feel.  To see that they aren’t flaws at all but symptoms of something that, if left undiagnosed, can be incredibly serious. But if we can learn to be more understanding, and adapt for neurotypical people, we can find joy in acceptance of ourselves!


And what are your aims?

  • For neurodivergent people to feel seen, validated and inspired
  • Using vulnerability, comedy and relatable stories - to show how symptoms of ADHD can present and feel
  • For neurotypical people to gain a better understanding of ADHD. Recognising symptoms in themselves, loved ones or others around them
  • Raise awareness and encourage conversations about the darker sides to ADHD
  • Bring queer stories to life and celebrate them
  • Spread neurodiverse and queer joy


How has your message been received so far…?

2023 Audience members

  •  “This show made me feel seen, validated and not so isolated in my ADHD experience. I was hesitant to see this as often times ADHD it’s portrayed in a harmfully stereotypical way, but that hesitation disappeared pretty much instantly as the actor dove into the complex ecosystem of this diagnosis. Thank you for acknowledging the anger, the rejection sensitivity, the multitudes of trains. Thank you for not staying on the surface with this one. Such a great show, go see it while you still have a chance!!!
  • “I was moved to tears, as a mother of an adult son with ADHD, this was so relatable, funny, moving, pacey, slick and a wonderful insight into a world misunderstood, immediately it had me on my feet with applause at the end. I wanted to hug you Pip! Up there with the top things I have seen at Fringe.”
  • “This. Show. Was. Amazing. Cried at the end. The way Pip delivers the ADHD experience is so informative and eye opening. I think EVERYONE should see it. Put together very well & watching Pip in her element shows that people with ADHD can thrive in the right environment & the right people, truly an incredible experience.”


What about the press?

“A clever, timely, funny and moving exploration of ADHD and queerness that proves compelling viewing. A fringe success story”
   The Stage

“Informative, entertaining and perfectly structured.  It’s a little gem.”★★★★★
   British Theatre

“Dawson radiates warmth from the moment she enters the stage.” ★★★★★
   Theatre and Tonic

“A tightrope act of having us crying with laughter to genuine heartache. A show that gives in every possible conceivable way … Pip is a gorgeous performer to watch because of the amount she is able to give” ★★★★
   Binge Fringe


So why do we need help?

To be an artist at the Edinburgh Fringe has never been more expensive, and from securing the venue to covering high costs of accommodation, each aspect of the production requires funding. UK Arts Funding specifically does not cover Edinburgh Fringe runs, and due to the cost of living and underfunding in the arts it is increasingly more difficult for artists to make their work.  

But this is where you can help!

By backing Character Flaw, you’re not just helping to fund a show; you'll directly be helping to share a story which touches hearts, opens eyes, broadens minds and uplifts the neurodiverse community!

 What would your donation do?

Our budget is £12,500.  We have already gained £2250 in sponsorships and are seeking to raise £3500 with your help.

Examples of how this money will be used is broken down below:

£50 would pay for Pip's train ticket to Edinburgh

£100 would pay for her trip back!

£150 would pay to hire a smoke machine (no spoilers … but it's an integral scene involving a fire alarm, nudity and a cat)

£300 would pay for accommodation for a week.

£500 would pay the directors wage for a week.

£600 would pay for the Venue Marketing costs.

£700 would pay for a technician to run the directors colourful and visionary lighting design 

£3,500 would pay for the hire fee of the venue for a month.

Our stretch target is £6,000

On top of the £3.5k this would ensure we could hire a publicist and tour manager to help take Character Flaw to the next stage.  Our aim is to bring Character Flaw to the screen. With fringe shows transferring to our screens over the years, think Fleabag and Baby Reindeer, there is huge potential for now work to make this leap.

I am in the early stages of writing a TV pitch and believe there is so much space for neurodiverse joy in the media. Media depictions of ADHD and neurodivergence in the past has been unkind, one sided and lacking in depth. But our stories are so much more than TikTok videos and we aim to smash the stereotypes.  Character Flaw has already shown it's potential and appeal, so with more work and essential funding we believe it can take the next steps to the screen.

Wouldn't it be amazing to say you helped a new BBC3 or Netflix show in it's early stages?

Who are we:

Character Flaw was written by queer and neurodiverse performer, Philippa Dawson (that’s me!) I started writing the show on a train and finished it at a friend's kitchen table, whilst cat-sitting.  Perhaps that is why the show is filled with train themes and cat stories.

After writing the show, the next step was to find a director, and I knew just the person for the job.  Nat Kennedy and I met in 2017 when they directed me in a queer murder mystery show at The Arcola Theatre and I knew, with their clowning playful energy and queer outlook, they’d be perfect!

Philippa Dawson (She/Her) - Writer/Performer/Producer


Pip is an awar1719000324_philippa_dawson-smaller_headshot_for_funding.pngd winning theatre maker from Herefordshire. She studied Acting in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (Angel Award) and later gained a distinction from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Acting for Screen MA.

She made waves when she produced and performed in the acclaimed short film 'The Rebirthing Club,' which premiered at the prestigious BAFTA festival - Aesthetica, receiving a nomination for best acting ensemble. Other credits include The Report (Lynn Redgrave Theatre NY), Cluedo Club (Arcola Theatre, Kings Head Theatre).  Pip was a finalist for a New-Writing Offie in 2023.

Nat Kennedy (They/Them) - Director

1719141763_whatsapp_image_2024-06-23_at_09.58.22.jpegNat is an award winning queer theatre and film maker, originally from Liverpool, with a clowning and playful approach to their work. Since graduating from RADA, they created The Sirrah Sisters, a female and NB Shakespeare Theatre company based in SE London.

Recent credits include; Cluedo Club (Arcola Queer Collective, The Kings Head Theatre), Macbeth, As You Like It, Henry V (The Show Must Go Online), Iphigenia in Aulis (The Cockpit), The Maids (The Southwark Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (The Sirrah Sisters).


The Fringe and Underbelly:

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is renowned for launching careers and bringing first-time creators to our screens and stages. Notable past creatives include Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, National Theatre, Broadway & BBC iPlayer), Richard Gadd (Baby Reindeer, Netflix) Sabrina Ali (Dugsi Dayz, newly programmed at the Royal Court following a sold out national tour) and Sophie Swithinbank (BACON, sold out at Fringe 2023 and transferred to New York as part of Soho Playhouse’s Encore series).

By donating to this crowd funder you can help Character Flaw take the next steps on its journey as we spread awareness of ADHD and share neurodiverse, queer joy!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Your name shared as a special thank you on all our of social media channels.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Your name shared as a special thank you on all our of social media channels, plus your name added to a special thank you list included on the pre show hand outs in Edinburgh.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Special thanks on all of our media channels, your name printed on all of our pre show Edinburgh hand outs, plus a poster of the show, signed by the performer and director

£150 or more

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Workshop with director Nat Kennedy

This will buy you a 2hr session with the brilliant director of Character Flaw - Nat Kennedy. This could be to workshop an idea, direct a new piece of work or learn more about directing. Nat (they/them) trained at Rada and has created their own female & non-binary theatre company - The Sirrah Sisters.

£300 or more

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Mentoring sessions - How to create a solo show.

For £300 you, or someone you know, will have four one-to-ones / creative sessions, with Character Flaws creator Philippa Dawson: Working on how to write and create a solo show. This would be a fantastic present for someone you know wanting to enter the arts.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

Specials thanks across all of our socials, your name printed on our pre-show Edinburgh material, a signed poster, plus 5 free tickets to be used on any of our Edinburgh Fringe dates and a post-show meet and greet with the writer and director

£1,000 or more

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Show creation, workshops and rehearsals

This is an incredible offer, where the creative team behind Character Flaw will help you towards creating a show. Perhaps you have a story you've always wanted to tell? Or you've written a script but don't know what the next steps are. With 8hours of one-to-ones with writer Philippa Dawson, script direction and performance rehearsals with Nat Kennedy, and producing, admin and PR help - we can help you create a show!

£1,500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Executive Producer

The person who donated this incredible sum would gain the title of 'Executive Producer'. They would be credited as this for the foreseeable future of the show not just on stage but if it makes the next leap onto the screen!

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