The Reason I Jump explores experiences of autism
- Gareth K Vile
- 11 June 2018
Adaptation of Naoki Higashida's best-selling novel features performers with autism
A collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Autistic Society, The Reason I Jump adapts Naoki Higashida's best-selling novel to explore the experience of autism, both through the floating, allusive narrative of the book and the contribution of the performers. 'This project provides an opportunity to hear directly from autistic people about what life is like for them,' says director Graham Eatough. 'The show involves performers with autism who I've been working with for over two years now. They have been one of the biggest inspirations for the project.'
'The show takes the form of a giant outdoor maze designed by Dutch artists Observatorium,' he continues. 'As you travel through the maze you encounter the different performers until you arrive in a special central area where you're invited to walk a labyrinth that we've permanently installed there.'
Dramaturge Clare Duffy expresses an enthusiasm for the source material, and the way it encourages a wider discussion.'It's a book that evokes lots of thought and feeling rather than stories,' she says. 'It was really important to explore the difference between the book as a personal testament and questions about what autism is.'
Situated in a beautiful and unusual space, The Reason filters a serious, relevant subject through an immersive, creative dramaturgy that celebrates both theatre and the great outdoors. Eatough concludes: 'Hopefully it all adds up to a fascinating and moving experience in which you can find out a bit more about autism and maybe some things about yourself too.'
The Children's Wood and North Kelvin Meadow, Glasgow, Mon 11–Sat 23 Jun.