A-Typical Rainbow ★★★ The Turbine Theatre | Jun 30 - Aug 7, 2022


A-Typical Rainbow is a thoughtful look at autism and the challenges of respecting the individual while trying to determine a path for them which leads to social integration and the most fulfilling life possible. This is the dilemma faced by Boy (JJ Green), his Mother (Caroline Deverill) and Father (James Westphal). The task is not an easy one and the strains on the family are imaginatively presented. Caroline Deverill does a simply outstanding job at capturing the pain and pride of the supportive Mother and James Westphal puts in a powerful performance as the rather two-dimensional Father. The evening, however, belongs to JJ Green who not only plays the principal part but also wrote the piece. This is his first professional play and it is an engaging and provocative effort which abounds with incident, metaphor and allusions. Indeed, there is sometimes a sense that too much is being crammed into a relatively short time and the writing is overburdened with a multiplicity of symbols and references. However, the arc of Boy's story is engaging and intriguing, and shines through despite some of the overwrought presentation. The subject matter recalls Mark Haddon's powerful novel and drama, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but A-Typical Rainbow reflects a fresh and important perspective on the complex issues of autism and the brilliant spectrum of humanity. It deserves the plaudits it is receiving.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Pamela Raith.

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