West London Community College, UK – Students from West London Community College recently went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to perform their play, The Trip. The college, housed in Uxbridge, provides specialist provision for adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions including Asperger syndrome.
The College is part of the Hillcrest family and Director is Anna Kennedy OBE. The website states that the mission of the school is;
“ to enable adults with an autism spectrum condition to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding required to enable them to achieve as fulfilled, meaningful and independent a life as possible through the provision of a high quality, personalised life skills programme that meets their needs and interests.”
The Trip, a new comedy supported by Hillcrest Care Limited and Anna Kennedy Online, stands at the forefront of its genre in its quest to raise awareness about the complex condition that is autism. Writer and director, Jamie Foster, displays a flare for showcasing human emotions and relationships, having been undoubtedly influenced by John Godber and Simon Stephens; this is a moving piece that hopes to strike a chord with all that witness it.
Having become increasingly frustrated by the obvious lack of autism awareness and being inspired by the success of West End smash hit ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, Jamie Foster set about devising an original piece that has been created as much to educate as it has to entertain. Uniquely performed by a complete cast of adults proud to be on the autism spectrum, they are offering audiences the opportunity to learn a thing or two straight from the horse’s mouth.
“I come from a performing background myself and last year wrote this play for my students to perform at our annual Christmas presentation day. The Trip is a comedy about the challenge of living with autism; a piece devised as much to educate as it is to entertain.“
The show was so well received by an audience consisting of theatre industry and care professionals and emergency services representatives, Anna told that they made the brave decision to take the show to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.The show ran from August 1 through o August 9.
Jamie Foster adds:
“So, what an amazing time we had at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Taking our very own autism play up there and performing to more than 300 people, including 3 sell-out shows out of 8 was an unbelievable experience.The actors, Ross Lee, Damien Bardou, Rosy Lucas, Kimberly Woolford, Melanie Hughan and Caroline Martin deserve a special mention as they promoted the show with enthusiasm and gusto. We pounded the streets day after day, handing out our flyers and talking to anybody that would listen to us, to great effect as our audience numbers will testify.”
Anna finally tells us that they went to Edinburgh with the aim to raise awareness about autism.
“Take it from me, on the evidence I saw and the feedback we received from audience members, it is definitely a case of mission accomplished. But is this the end of The Trip, I very much doubt it somehow…”