The Misfit Analysis, Warwick Arts Centre Studio, until February 11
I know very little about autism and Asperger’s. I haven’t even seen Rain Man or read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
If you’d have asked me before seeing this performance I’d have probably replied that such people are unable to empathise, show warmth or form relationships and often become obsessed with routines and objects.
After an hour in the company of Cian Binchy (pictured) my awareness was raised and my preconceived views and perceptions were severely questioned. I also realised that often it us ‘normal’ people that are not able to empathise with those with such difficulties.
I was soon able to empathise with Binchy, who wrote this play in his final year as a drama student and who was an advisor to the leading actor in the West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. You feel his intense frustration and anger at having doors closed in his face such as his unsuccessful attempts to get into drama school and the suggestion that he should do a nice little gardening course instead. He doesn’t even like gardening!
The production is not just educational. It is highly entertaining with the imaginative use of multimedia, poetry, and audience participation through TV quiz show type games and a range of props including spinning plates, windmills, tin openers and blow up dolls!
It is delightfully different, original, raw, sometimes shocking, funny and energetic.
It’s not just about autism either. He also questions disability’s place in society through the exploration of the autistic mind. It poses questions such as why do airlines go to considerable lengths to help those with physical disabilities or sensory impairments but not those with learning difficulties.
An hour in his company gives you an insight into his immensely creative, if somewhat chaotic, mind and is time very well spent.