(Ad) Earlier this evening I watched The Life of Reilly play at Washington Arts Centre in exchange for this honest review…
This week (1st – 7th April) is World Autism Awareness Week, and;
“The Life of Reilly is a sell out play looking at the dynamics of an ordinary family following an autism diagnosis for young Reilly. Guaranteed to touch every emotion the play is an insightful, entertaining and funny peek through the door into Reilly’s life and those around him.”
It certainly was. The first half of the play is an introduction to each of the main characters – Reilly, his sister, Mam (Joanne), Dad (Jed), Grandma (Mary), and Clarky (Dad’s best friend) – and how Reilly’s autism diagnosis has impacted them. The second half shares experiences such as birthday parties, bullying, and issues at school.
I loved the characters, local dialects, and humour throughout. It was a vivid and real portrayal. Stand out emotions were the guilt and shame at morning for the loss of the child that they thought they would have, but also the bravery, courage and love. I felt a strong connection with the audience, who all rose together for a standing ovation at the end.
On return home, having googled, I’ve found the play is based on real life, and Christine Stephenson blogs about her son Reilly. Last year, the family used crowdfunder to start to rasie funds for a film too – you can see the trailer here. I wish them every success.
There is a Life of Reilly Facebook page to keep up to date and hear about future plays.
#TheLifeOfRilley #WashingtonArtsCentre #WorldAutismWeek #ChristineStephenson