Touch Blue Touch Yellow: Joshua Manfield

Posted on: 27 Nov 2015 by Joshua Manfield

Tim Rhys' Touch Blue Touch Yellow gets it's premiere production in Chapter Theatre Tue 1 - Sat 5 December. Based on first hand testimony of young people on the autism spectrum and parents and carers, the play explores some of the misleading myths about autism. Here, cast member Joshua Manfield talks about what working on the play has meant to him and the importance of learning from real life experience.

Working on Touch Blue, Touch Yellow has been a near indescribable experience, but I'll try my best.

Very few actors that I know can say that they are honestly proud of their first big production.
With Touch Blue, Touch Yellow, I can count myself amongst that precious few.
A play regarding autism is a tricky subject to approach.
For one thing, no two autistic people experience it in the same way.
There is a lot of misrepresentation out there, due to this fact and a bizarre stigma that surrounds it.
And this isn't just a small issue, it even permeates into the charities supporting autistic people.
However, unlike other productions I have seen, during the creative process, Tim Rhys and Chris Durnall have spoken not only to carers and parents, but to autistic people themselves, checking every last detail with the only people who can call themselves experts on the subject.
And it shows!

We have created an insight, not into what autism looks like, but rather what it feels like, using a collection of experiences to mark key difficulties of autism.

What makes this production different from everything else is the fact that it's a balanced scale.
Yes, we see the difficulties and the woes that autistic people face, but we also see the joy.
The obsessive joy of special interests and how they enrich the lives of the people who get to experience them with unbridled passion and mirth.

It has been a pleasure and an honour to work on this piece with everybody.
Chris Durnall, Dafydd Wyn Roberts, Jams Thomas, Stacy Daly - had the group been different, I don't think we'd have the same show that we do now.
Under Chris' direction, we have come together to create an important work of art.

I, for one, certainly hope this isn't the last time I get to work with Chris.
The connections he creates between every detail of the scenes has enriched this performance and taken it to a new level.

Joshua Manfield

Winterlight's Touch Blue Touch Yellow is in Chapter Theatre Tue 1 - Sat 5 December. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

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