Plastic Figurines

Directed by Adam Quayle
Produced by Box Of Tricks Theatre Company
Liverpool Playhouse Studio
8th April - 11th April 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I was slightly surprised about a play, of which the main character is autistic , followed less than two months after the production of Cartoonopolis, whose leading figure was autistic, took place at the same venue.

Nevertheless, it was an absorbing watch and very different in its approach to the previous play. What it revealed was that people with autism cannot be lumped under the one heading. They are individual people like the rest of the populace.

I must admit though that the stereotypical view of autism - for example, someone who is suffused with statistical information, like Mikey (Jamie Samuel), and knowing so-called meaningless information - did grate a little bit at times.

Mikey, who looked at least ten years older than the eighteen-year-old he was portraying, was being looked after by his older sister Rose (Remmie Milner - she played Mojo in Melody Loses Her Mojo at the Playhouse in 2013 ), who had returned to Manchester, from where she had been living in Edinburgh, to be at the bedside of their terminally ill mother.

Although Rose says she loves Mikey dearly, you do feel at times that looking after him is cramping her style, so to speak, and although she has no legal obligation to look after him, she has a moral obligation, perhaps passed down from her mother.

What must be of concern to Rose is the realisation that the leukemia that her mum is dying from was brought about by the constant worry of caring for tempestuous Mikey.

Where is Mikey's father? Was his mother a single mum, has he died, did she separate from him, did they divorce? The question is never answered.

Plastic Figurines was written by Ella Carmen Greenhill, a former writer-on-attachment at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. Following its run at the Playhouse Studio it will go on a national tour.

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