“Because I have a learning difficulty I must be an idiot, or I must be sweet and innocent – it’s frustrating.”
These were the words of actor Cian Binchy, whose show The Misfit Analysis will arrive at the New Greenham Arts Centre this evening.
A wheelchair user who is autistic, the multi-award winning production looks at the challenges Cian faces in everyday life, where he is faced with constant condescending behaviour from his peers.
But he insists his show isn’t a ‘lecture’ but instead a ‘rollercoaster that nobody’s expecting’.
“People think that because I have a learning difficulty I must be an idiot, or I must be sweet and innocent – it’s frustrating but also gives me some funny stories to tell,” he told the Observer.
“For example, I got a bit lost at an airport once.
“When I asked for directions, they put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the gate, because I’m ‘disabled’.
“I was so surprised I just went along with it.
“People think disabled people shouldn’t curse, have sex and are ‘so brave’ for living with their disability.
“And the show is a bit of a rollercoaster, and so far not what anyone’s expected.
“It’s not a lecture, but it does try to change people’s minds and open them up to the idea that there are lots of different degrees of autism.
“People with autism generally just want the same opportunities as everyone else.”
After graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a diploma in performance making, Cian decided to write The Misfit Analysis based on his experiences.
It debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 where it gained a strong following, as people from all over the world wanted to know his story.
Cian hopes the one-man production will change the way autistic people are treated as he believes the ‘audience will be emotionally affected’.
“Some of the stories and experiences of people with autism are upsetting or angering and we’re hoping the show will create change,” Cian said.
“The best way to do that is to engage people’s emotions.
“I hope they understand how challenging it is for someone with autism in the world of performing arts.
“It’s challenging for everyone, it’s a very tough industry, but particularly for someone with a learning disability or isn’t considered ‘normal’ really.
“Also, it’s hard for someone with autism to get the same opportunities as everyone else – getting a job, getting into a decent college, having a relationship.
“All the things people take for granted and I hope the audience are emotionally affected.”
Tickets cost from £8.50 to £13.50 and it starts at 8pm.