BWW Review: GLITCH, The Vaults
The Vaults is very vocal about its mission statement of embracing artists from all walks of life to come together and inspire others. Glitch truly belongs in the festival line up with its unique and heartfelt depiction of autism.
Kelly (Krystina Nellis) has never left her hometown because of her condition. It's the kind of place where the word 'retard' is a seemingly acceptable description of anyone who's a little 'different'. Trapped and frustrated, Kelly discovers the world of video gaming, which opens up an entire new realm of possibilities. As she navigates grief while gaining new life experiences, Kelly learns that she's far more than just a label.
The fact that the play is semi-autobiographical affords it a real authenticity with Nellis offering a carefully considered, nuanced performance. She successfully intertwines an inviting warmth with dry, often self - deprecating humour. It makes for a well rounded character that we quickly become invested in and want to know more about. The chatty, colloquial dialogue also further endears us to our protagonist and we genuinely feel like we know her as we depart the theatre.
A lot of themes are examined here. Small-town attitudes and discrimination, friendship and belonging, grief and love are all addressed in a very honest yet tender way. Despite so much going on, though, there is a feeling that the play runs out of steam a little towards the end, even with its short duration of just an hour.
We're no doubt left with a fresh perspective on autism and it certainly makes for an original piece of informative theatre, yet in many ways feels like a blue print for a bigger play. Hopefully it gets to enjoy another perhaps more polished run in the future. It's exactly the kind of theatre that reminds us of the art forms wonderful ability to provide a platform for those not always heard.
Photo Credit: Chronic Insanity