Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was a funny little thing, all snarling lips and snarled curls. She would hide behind familiar legs, and watch the world from afar.
Once upon a time that little girl learned that all the things she knew, all the feelings she felt, the patterns she saw, all the colours and edges, were not real. They could not be real, for other people did not see them, did not touch them, were not connected to them.
Once upon a time, the minutes and the months spread into years, and as her hips broadened, so did her study of humanity, so did her hunt for belonging. As the years passed and the performance became heavy, it became harder and harder to see just how everyone else kept up such a flawless pretence.
Once upon a time, there was a duck, a duck who believed that she was something else entirely, and then a new journey began.
It’s an enigmatic start, but then, it was an enigmatic beginning. Autact Theatre Company began because somebody listened to that little girl’s story, and thought it was worth telling. Stories are powerful things. Perhaps if that little girl had heard a tale of someone just like her, she would have found belonging much sooner, but perhaps is a dangerous road to wander down, so perhaps we shouldn’t.
That little girl was Rhi and thirty years ago sensory and social issues were rarely diagnosed, particularly in girls, due to a lack of awareness. Rhi was, is and always shall be Autistic, and she wears that label with pride. Her diagnosis gave her the tools to work with her neurotype, rather than always trying to bludgeon her way through her difficulties.
This year Rhi’s first play, ‘The Duck’, will be performed, and she warmly invites you to join us. ‘The Duck’ is an uplifting glimpse into what her Autism means to her.
She promises that only her hair will snarl.