Neurodiversity – 20 Sep 2020

This show was streamed live on Facebook, if you would like to watch it on demand you can find it on our Facebook page.

‘The Nodding Dogs’ opened this show nodding to Randy Newman’s “I’m Different

The lyric in Newman’s song “I’m different and I don’t care who knows it” framed the show as we were celebrating difference and exploring neurodiversity. From Albert Einstein to Alan Turing, some of the biggest breakthroughs have come from neurodivergent people, most likely because of their ability to think differently.

Our first performer of the night Adam Smith was electrical and captivating. A true force of nature, Adam performed “Cabaret MC’ about his aspergers and gave us a compelling insight into what his “brain is like inside”.

You have superpowers Adam

Sheena Crankson

In lockdown Adam co-directed an audio exhibition “Still Here” in conjunction with Access All Areas.

We are so, so, so proud of you Adam! xxx

Amanda Smith

Following this we introduced father/daughter comedy duo Howard and Mabel Read who performed a stand up set about both of their experiences being dyslexic. Howard wasn’t diagnosed until after GCSE’s whereas Mabel was 7 when she got her diagnosis. Howard is now a professional writer and part of the writing team for Horrible Histories and you can find out more about him on his website.

You can watch Mabel, her brother Samson, and Howard perform at the Battersea Arts Centre

Too good and hilarious & what a lovely bond

Amy Neilson Smith

Janine Booth used to be a ranting punk poet in the 80s, she stopped and then started poetry again in 2014 when she had her diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum.

Janine performed “Manifesto from Behind The Mask”. It is a poem of two halves, the first half is about masking, the act you have to put on to get by in society if you’re autistic. The second half imagines a society in which people don’t have to do that anymore, and what sort of society that might be.

“I would love to hear Janine waffle on for hours. So enlightening.

Howard Read

Janine’s knowledge of neurodiversity is deep and she has a special ability to explain things clearly and coherently. Her website is a brilliant resource and you can find links to books, pamphlets and poems that she has written.

This is fascinating, learning a ton here.

Angie Magnusson

We were very grateful to Liselle Terret who stepped in at the last minute to cover for a performer who was unwell. She was diagnosed with ADHD at 50. She is a performance artist called Doris La Trine and has been making solo comedic, burlesque influenced, performance work that she has toured with, including a 15 minute piece called “Flush“. She gave us a taster of “Flush”.

You’re fantastic Liselle and you are absolutely fabulous.

Rufaro Asuquo

Neil Avery performed a song he wrote with Nigel Planer, “sticks and stones” about bullying and teasing that a lot of neurodiverse people have to go through.

Neil was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia about 5 years ago. His diagnosis came from his daughter’s diagnosis, and he told us that as he was reading her notes he realised “that’s me!”

If you would like to hear more of Neil’s music head over to his bandcamp page.

I think for me this evening is another example of how these spaces are so important.

Liselle aka Doris La Trine

I’ve been smiling all evening – bloody marvellous!

Emma Selwyn

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