Based on the Victorian novella, Wooden Tony, Richard Conlon’s play The Boy At The Edge of the Room focuses on a character that displays many of the classic traits of those on the autistic spectrum.
A boy called Tony struggles to fit in and find his place. He has a different way of looking at the world and longs to retreat to a place where he can be ‘’nothing more than small and far off’. Those surrounding him have little patience for his dreams, with the exception of his mother who will do anything to ensure his happiness.
When a mysterious ‘dealer’ offers Tony the chance to make his dream come true, his mother must face a future without him, and the audience is forced to confront an unsettling and moving ending.
The play is a beautiful and moving examination of difference and acceptance, brought to life through song, movement and puppetry. Created with help and advice from the Hampshire Autistic Society.
Writer Richard Conlon explains when he first came across the subject matter: “I can very accurately pin down the desire to develop this play – on Wednesday 22nd May 2002 I read a Guardian article by Charlotte Moore which opened my eyes to the Wooden Tony story and its wider implications. The gothic tale which inverts and predates the Pinocchio story has been under my skin ever since. It has a haunting beauty and a final image which will stay with readers and audiences for a long time.”
Following the show there will be a Q & A session with the author Richard Conlon and Karen Wilmshurst, Advocacy Manager of Autism Wessex. There will also be a collection for the Information and Advice service of Autism Wessex.
Forest Forge are one of the UK’s leading small-scale theatre companies and they will be bringing their fairytale for adults: The Boy at the Edge of Room to Bridport Arts Centre on Monday 25 March and Dorchester Corn Exchange on Saturday 6 April.
Tickets £10 + concessions. Recommended age 12+