Oh Really Reilly!

Autism Awareness Week is on it’s way again. A chance to make some noise. Given we are still in the midst of a pandemic our usual plans to get into schools with a bit of education are out of the window.

We decided that our play Really Reilly which was due to roll out into schools in 2020 could be recorded and then distributed to schools to play safely, adhering to the covid guidelines within bubbles in classrooms. No need to gather in halls to watch a performance.

What’s it about? Really Reilly is a play designed for younger primary school children. It follows autistic character Reilly and looks at some of the reasons he may be different to his classmates and how different is ok.

In past showings I think it’s not only the children who have learned from the experience but also the teachers. When we show that Reilly wants to sit under the table for storytime but the teacher won’t start until he sits smart on the carpet with the rest of the children. The other children get impatient with him and he feels awful. What we clearly communicate is its not the end of the world that a child is more comfortable in a different position, this Reilly hates the feel of the carpet and doesn’t want to sit on it because it feels like a thousand pins. It’s not straight forward. The child may not be able to communicate that well. Little tweaks can make a massive difference to children like Reilly.

It shows the playground dynamics, why he flaps his hands and how inclusion is important even though it may not be acted upon but it can mean the absolute world to be asked.

By the end of the play the children, teachers, lunchtime staff etc got from exclaiming OH REALLY REILLY! to ohhhhhh Really Reilly – now I get it.

Drama is an incredible catalyst for learning. The children absorb when they enjoy learning. Drama does exactly that.

We hope that children will have more understanding and empathy around not just autism but any type of diversity. This will spill out into parks at weekends, family holidays around the pool, shoppers in the supermarket, friends, neighbours or simply a passenger on the bus. It’s a strong message delivered in a engaging way.

In an ideal world I would like every primary school to work with us and really make a difference this year for autism awareness week. Let’s make it about understanding and acceptance that it’s ok to be different.

If you feel you child isn’t understood in mainstream school please recommend us, if you are a proactive school and want to host Really Reilly please do get in touch at reillycic@gmail.com

10 Reasons to come see the life of reilly

Don’t just take my word for it. There are hundreds who will back up my claim that this play is groundbreaking. A must see for everyone!

1

A thought provoking, funny, emotional, educational and honest insight into real family life with autism. I laughed and I cried, I listened and I learnt. This is a must see for all, highly recommended.

2

This is not a play aimed at parents of autistic children. This is not a play highlighting the concerns, traumas, battles and challenges they face on a daily basis. This is not a play that makes you realise you’re not the only one serving up beige food. This is a play for the whole of society. A play that will make you realise that autistic people are the same as everyone else, just different. This is a play that will make you belly laugh, a play that will make you weep, a play that will make you realise how intolerant our society has become. This is a play that you must see, watch it with open eyes, an open heart and above all an open mind.

3

Watching similarities of your own personal story being played out in front of you with such honesty and rawness made this play unforgettable. The humour and simplicity of what parents face on a daily basis was demonstrated throughout and it gave a magnificent insight into the wonderful world of Autism. Great for raising awareness and showing the reality of what happens behind closed doors xx a must see x

4

A must see for everyone! Such an in-depth insight into the world of autism from point of diagnosis to dealing with the daily struggles of meltdowns and routines not to mention the completely unhelpful opinions of people on the outside! The play is an emotional but accurate account highlighting the need for acceptance and empathy. Absolutely incredible and really keeps you gripped from start to finish. Well done to the writers and cast, I cannot wait to see the film! 💙

5

Incredible performance last night by all the cast. My son Fletcher has ASD and we can completely relate to the issues raised in the play. I only wish all my friends and family could have been there to see how incredibly hard it is for children and young people with ASD and their families. The fight continues #understanding #support

6

This play pulls no punches in telling how Autism impacts on everyday life for all concerned. The joys…..of which there are many the heartache, the frustration, the lack of understanding, the struggle for services….I don’t know how they achieved to convey all of this with humour, pathos and sensitivity. I would recommend this play to everyone. I’ll be going to see it again.

7

Spellbinding. Better than The Curious Incident of The Dog

8

What can I say? As a step-Mum of a boy with Asperger’s, this play had me weeping both with its raw honesty and its humour. It’s a must see production… but bring a tissue! Well done to all, it’s so rare to see such an accurate portrayal of life for a family on the spectrum.

9

I absolutely loved this! They represented the autistic spectrum with dignity, and humour, whilst showing the challenges of living in a world that insists on conformity.

10

This was a such a powerful story, I know people dealing with similar realities and their description matched the journey I was taken into by this amazing project. Very strong collaboration and performances too. This deserves to be watched and shared!

Next show is 7th Feb at Northen Stage tickets available here