Written by Nicola Zielinski
Project & Public Engagement Officer – Rescare
Auntie to James who has Autism
What a great end to a week by being able to visit a theatre I have never been to before in the heart of Newcastle but also to watch a show which of course is close to my heart. I heard about the show from my colleague in our head office at Rescare and instantly thought “ I must see this”. I was impressed first of all that the theatre Alphabetti were embracing a “Pay what you feel” scheme for their first week of the show which is incredible to see considering so many of us are struggling with the cost of living crisis.
The vibe in the theatre was very relaxed and very warming when I first arrived. The staff there were so friendly and helped me to find my seat. The choice of using a thrust style stage set up whereby the audience are sat on 3 sides of the stage and instantly feel very involved in the show was wonderfully directed.
Notably for sensitivity reasons, there was the option of wearing headphones to listen to the show so that you could adjust the sound intensity. I opted for a traditional live sound without headphones. It was pleasing to see on other dates of the production there is a British Sign Language performance also scheduled.
The show itself only had 3 people in its cast, the main actress played the part of Elsa, the main character and the other cast members played multiple roles during the 75-minute show which was well delivered indeed.
Elsa’s character demonstrates life growing up and as an adult with all the quirks and challenges that you go through from being diagnosed with autism to then living with autism, being romantically acquainted with a partner as well as holding up a job.
The set and lighting were simple yet very effective and I in particular loved the reference that Elsa made to her brain which she often referred to as “The Octopus”. The show was fun, comical, engaging and heart-warming. As the show ended, I held a tear in my eye for what most families I am sure experience when they have a loved one with autism.
“We just want to keep our loved ones safe and we hope that they will be accepted in society.”
My nephew right now is only 7, but seeing a show like this as it stands in 2023 really did give me hope that more people are keen to learn more about autism even if that is by attending the theatre to increase their awareness.
Well done to all involved from cast , directors, producers , lighting and stage management and I wish you all the success in the remaining run of the show.
Tiny Fragments of Beautiful Light written by Allison Davies directed by Karen Traynor
Alphabetti Theatre is an award-winning independent 80 seat theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne. They receive project grant from the Arts Council and other charitable organisations however the theatre really appreciates your support if you can: