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MADDIE Will Be Performed at The Arcola Theatre This Weekend

Performances run November 11-14.

Maddie, which will debut at The Arcola's 'Today I Am Wiser Festival', tells the story of 'old soul' Maddie who, accompanied by memories of Abey-Baby the cat and irregular texts from her Mum, returns from the coast to London, searching for happiness and answers in places she has been trying to escape her whole life.

Young, homeless, autistic, with a pathological compulsion to entertain, Maddie employs her talent for impressions, quick-change and magic to tell her life story. But as the coldest winter on record sets in and she's forced to return to her childhood home, she will have to confront some hard truths.

This strangely uplifting piece is written and performed by autistic artists; writer Josh Merritt and actress Evlyne Oyedokun explored their own strategies for navigating their lives with director Nicky Allpress, who fell in love with Maddie throughout the Covid Pandemic.

Developing Maddie over Zoom, the team met for the first time in 2021 and are proud to be showcasing this moving yet playful glimpse into the life of a young homeless woman with autism.

Nicky Allpress says, "Maddie has grown very close to our hearts over the past couple of years. Josh and myself found the perfect performer in Evlyne during lockdown, met for the first time in the spring of this year and have developed as a family to bring Maddie's story to this first, live performance.""

Josh Merritt commenting on the issues dealt with explains that the play addresses how, "People go missing all the time. Losing yourself is the tricky part."

Evlyne Oyedokun speaking of her character Maddie says, "Maddie uses illusions to cover up her pain, distractions to overcome despair, and constantly fights to block out reality in order to survive. Her imagination is her only saviour. She has a difficult mind with the most simple heart.

The play is produced by Amanda Faber for Soldiers Arts Academy who explains how the production is supported by members of the not for profit which seeks to rehabilitate veterans through working in the arts, " The Soldiers' Arts Academy works with veterans to connect them to the arts, to provide mentors and to create work opportunities so they can get jobs in one of the fastest growing industries in the UK. Veterans are often unaware of the tremendous talents and aptitude they have for the arts and they are often pleasantly surprised when they start to find work. It also aims to provide a community so veterans and their family members can enter a mutually supportive environment to help them navigate their transition journey and to build their new narrative'.

Performances run November 11-14.

Arcola website:
Telephone: 0207 503 1646

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