On Tuesday 2nd April we were very lucky to be invited to the press night for the production ‘Kite’ in the Drum Theatre of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, performed by ‘The Wrong Crowd’ Theatre company.
We picked up our tickets at 6.30 pm and went straight into the theatre. In hindsight we should have waited until a little closer to the start of the play because at 6.55 pm (5 minutes before the play was due to start) Edward decided that he’d had enough and declared that he wanted to go home…..fortunately the play started just in time and from that moment on Edward was transfixed.
The story of Kite is about a recently orphaned young girl who has to go and live with her Grandma. Whilst there she discovers a magic kite that takes her on a journey through London. She discovers that Grandma also has her own brand of magic that brings them closer together in ways they never could have imagined.
I love the Drum Theatre as the productions are more intimate. There were only four actors and the story was told through just music and movement, no spoken words….I was able to follow the story but Matthew and Edward struggled and I had to explain what was happening. Edward was able to just enjoy the very visual aspect of the production, the clever use of puppets, lots of movement, activity, music, sound effects and lights.
Matthew missed some of the subtle clues to the story, he didn’t recognise the London Underground sign and was unable to make links that the girl was flying through London. Also he wasn’t able to work out perspective when the smaller puppet meant that they were higher up in the sky, this isn’t a criticism of the performance at all because I thought that that’s what made it a really clever piece of theatre. This was the first time that my children have been to the theatre to watch a play that wasn’t the Christmas pantomime, so they haven’t yet become seasoned theatre goers (something I am working on) and learnt to suspend their disbelief, but with more visits they will soon learn to appreciate the theatre.
It is often said that children with autism have a specific talent and a strong interest in something specific. From a very early age, Edward has loved music, singing and acting out a character that he has seen them on the television. So I really want to get him involved in the performing arts. He isn’t yet able to join a mainstream drama club as he still needs one to one support so I thought I would start taking him to the theatre first as a way to develop his interest in performing arts further.
We all really enjoyed our trip the Drum Theatre and both my sons and I left the theatre culturally enriched.