by Adam Quayle
Produced by Box Of Tricks Theatre Company
8th April - 11th April 2015
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.