A new play about growing up neurodivergent and queer is coming to the Turbine Theatre this summer, directed by Bronagh Lagan.
Based on real events from the perspective of the writer and the autistic community, A-Typical Rainbow plays the Turbine Theatre from 30 June to 7 August 2022.
The play is billed as an uplifting play about the experience of growing up neurodivergent and queer in early 2000s Britain, and promises to be witty and poignant, exploring how through repression and shame, autistic people are made to feel by both adults and peers alike, shaping the adult they become today.
The show is written by JJ Green, and directed by Bronagh Lagan, who recently directed Cruise at the Duchess Theatre, which has been nominated for a 2022 Olivier Award for Best Play; she is also currently directing Broken Wings and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
An overly imaginative autistic child’s vast and glorious fantasy worlds rule his life in beautiful and horrific ways from an early age. His mother decides to seek help for him in the early 2000’s to allow him to adapt to the ‘real world’ that we all must live in. This removes him from the fantasy realm and gives him a chance at normalcy, all be it at the significant cost of his own authenticity.
From the household kitchen to employment at a world-famous travelling circus, the young boy faces the trials of choosing between being honest in an unaccepting world, or attempting to fit in. It is through love, friendship, harsh lessons, bigotry, reality, and fantasy that he learns he ultimately must make a choice – be honest and risk stigma or continue to hide unhappily and unprogressively?
JJ Green, writer of A-Typical Rainbow, said: “This play was written by an autistic writer, has been read and approved by many autistic artists & marks the first time a piece of theatre has been written about us, by us, for you. It is commonplace for stories to be told about us – without us. This play aims to change that. It feels surreal & entirely golden to see what started off as words on a page finally come to life on stage. I feel incredibly lucky, excited and proud to be bringing Atypical Rainbow to the Turbine Theatre and can’t wait to share my world with others in such a unique way, properly, for the first time with a team of creatives and cast performing telling a story about autism through our own lens.”
JJ has amassed a supportive and engaged following on social media during the pandemic due to his insightful and passionate advocacy for autistic artists like himself in theatre spaces. He has been an integral part of shaping Actor’s Equity’s most recent guide for working with autistic artists.
Atypical Rainbow has composition and sound design by Max Alexander-Taylor, who is autistic, and choreography by William Spencer, who is neurodivergent.