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MARRIED double-act Gareth, a Crohn’s sufferer, and Kiruna a dwarf, tell how they found love despite the odds in their Valentine’s Day show; The Short and Long of It.

Australian actress Kiruna Stamell, promised there was more to it than just gooey romance.

Australian actress Kiruna Stamell, promised there was more to it than just gooey romance.

“It’s got elements that are romantic but everything that we do has a slight dash of cynicism, added Kiruna, who appeared alongside Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

“It is romantic but it’s rounded.”

The couple met at the Abnormally Funny People gig, for comedians with disabilities. Kiruna said she is accustomed to people’s ignorance about her condition but it was something her husband had to learn to deal with.

“A lot of men made assumptions that I was being really really good in going out with Kiruna,” said Gareth. “You get people that stare at us on the street and just give Kiruna a hard time. I was worried about how I should deal with that. Am I supposed to punch everybody who laughs? It was about learning to respect Kiruna as a woman and her ability to stand up for herself.”

“I do get negative responses on the street I’m not going to gloss over that,” added the actress. “We were on our very first date and I’m madly trying to impress this guy and a car drives past us and yells abuse at us.”

And it isn’t just while out and about that she feels she is judged. She said she has worked very hard to avoid being stereotyped.

“I am happy to play a character with dwarfism if they are a rounded character so that I feel that we’re exploring the human condition.”

Both performers said they noticed a small change in perceptions of disabled people following the Paralympics, but not nearly as much as they had hoped.

“The only difference now is that they think I’m a really good swimmer,” Kiruna joked.

The show is at the Birmingham MAC on February 14.

 

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