Wow, Just Wow!!
Mark Haddon wrote the story based on his own experiences working with individuals with additional needs, collating this into a character for his book. He states in the programme that he never intended the book to become a tool for illustrating an autistic spectrum condition presentation to Joe public or indeed to health care / education professionals but it has done exactly this!
The performance moved its audience to tears. People were crying in the interval, having to be consoled. Parents brought their teenagers with autism to see the show, families of people with autism were there, students …. It was a remarkable mix of folks.
And what made it so good? Well number one – it was entirely fictional. Aside from that the beautifully simple illustration of the literal mind coupled with allowing the audience to feel sensory over load over and over again. The quick change from happy boy to sheer meltdown boy within minutes, remarkable intelligence mixed with total lack of empathy. It was like seeing our life on stage in some ways and I am guessing that everyone felt that due to the amount of emotion flooding the theatre.
We came out feeling emotional and exhausted but understanding more about our boy. You never stop learning I guess. We went for some retail therapy in Hamley’s and then off to China Town for dinner. It was at this point we relaxed. What tickled us however was a large Chinese family sat behind us eating their food, dressed in Woolley hats, scarves and coats! What a diverse world we live in!