For more information about the performance and what to expect please go to:
Is The Duck suitable for my child?
We like to leave this decision up to you as you know your child best. We recommend 12+ as a guideline, because the play is very wordy and is written for an adult audience, but there’s nothing in the play that is specifically unsuitable and we have had children as young as 10 enjoy it immensely. There is no nudity, swearing or other inappropriate content in the play.
Bear in mind that there is a scene when the character hits herself in her head which could be distressing, and a couple of times where she shouts loudly, once in a scream-like voice. If your child is very sensitive to sound this could be distressing for them.
If your child is autistic we recommend making sure that they know that autism can present differently in different people, and that an adult will have gone through different experiences as they get older, so if they don’t recognise themselves in the character, that doesn’t mean that they’re doing anything wrong.
Is The Duck suitable if I have sensory sensitivities?
We have done our best to consider people’s sensitivities, but this is still a piece of theatre and there may still be some sensory discomfort as with any busy place. There are some loud noises in the play when the character expresses her feelings. She will shout loudly a few times and at one point the shout will be scream-like. We recommend wearing earplugs/headphones if you are very sensitive to sound and/or avoid sitting near the front.
Stage lights can be very strong, so we try to keep any changes to a minimum and check how bright they are for the audience during rehearsals. From when the play starts and the lights come up, to the end when they go down, we keep the lights the same to avoid changes causing a problem. If there is a Q&A the lights will come up for the audience too. If you are very sensitive to light we recommend bringing sunglasses to help you manage the lighting.
We ask that people respect each others’ personal space during the play, and hope that everyone is respectful of those that do not like to be touched. If you need to stim during the performance to make the experience easier for yourself, then please do.
Sensory problems will also depend on the venue. If it’s in a big airy arts centre with lots of space and well trained staff, then that will be easier to navigate than if it’s in a theatre that is part of a lively bar or pub. Be aware of your limits and if it gets too much then know that no one will judge you if you need to leave.
Can I talk to the actor after the show?
Yes you can! She will be busy beforehand preparing for the performance, but after the show Lucy will stay around so that you can talk to her. If Rhi is there you are also welcome to talk to her after the show too. We love hearing your responses to the play!
I know you say in the information that I can leave, but can I really leave without causing offence or being a problem?
Yes! We completely understand if you need to have some space. We really appreciate just how much coming to a crowded place can take out of people. It’s also reassuring for other autistic people to see those who look after their needs in public. Even Rhi knows she’s allowed to leave during the Q&As if she needs to – and did once have to leave the stage earlier than she had planned.
Is The Duck a safe space for autistic people?
Because people are so different we don’t want to make any claims that we cannot be sure are true; there are some emotional moments in the play for autistic people, which could bring up a lot of feelings, and there are sensory difficulties and social difficulties that come with crowds of people that we can’t be sure won’t be an issue for you.
What we can say is that if you tell us you are having a problem you will not need to explain it, we will understand and listen and do our best to help. When there is space at the venue we will try to provide a quiet space which you can access. We can promise understanding from the Autact team and we hope that provides you with the space to manage your own boundaries and needs. Usually up to half our audience is autistic, so people are very understanding and kind.
“A masterclass in intimate, inclusive storytelling”Sarah Walden
“Bravo – You spoke my life out loud. At a few points I just wanted to cry in feeling understood. Thank you, thank you, thank you. BRAVO!”Audience members’ response