How many autistic adults are undiagnosed? Mike Heath’s new play The Big Things gets its world premiere tonight (18 April 2018) at London’s Baron’s Court Theatre, where it runs until 5 May, including a post-show Q&A chaired by Mates co-founder Terri Paddock on 27 April. Check out our bumper photo galleries – and then get booking!
The Big Things brings us into the world of Grace, a woman living to a different rhythm. She meets Malcolm and falls in love, but even that she can’t do without people staring. When she and Malcolm decide to have a baby, the ensuing challenges leave her questioning everything she knows about life. How can your family love you when they can’t understand you? How can you be a good mother when you’re not like everyone else?
Shortlisted for the BBC Alfred Bradley Bursary Award 2016, The Big Things is a tragi-comic play about love, parenthood, and defining and defying what it means to be normal. It’s a funny and honest look at a woman living and loving with undiagnosed autism.
The Big Things is written by Mike Heath and stars May Cunningham and Matthew John Wright. Cunningham, who plays Grace, has a parent with autism and hopes the show encourages people to learn more about it. The premiere production is directed by Sharon Willems and presented at Barons Court Theatre by Kibo Productions.
Mike Heath (writer) is an experienced theatre director and a published playwright based in Manchester, UK. He has worked in fringe theatre since 2003, with work appearing at Studio Salford at The Kings Arms Theatre, 24:7 Theatre Festival, The Buxton Fringe, Re:Play @ The Library Theatre, Oldham Coliseum, The Lowry, Liverpool Everyman, Martin Harris Centre, Robert Powell Theatre (Salford), The Drill Hall (London) as well as many fringe venues in Manchester. He is half of Manchester Evening News’ award-winning Mediamedea, along with Cathy Crabb. Mike has a Distinction MA in Playwriting from Salford University. He is currently running the Studio Salford WriteForTheStage courses. These courses have been running since 2012 and have helped over 100 writers bring their work to the stage.
Sharon Willems (director) is the artistic director of Kibo Productions and directed their five-star production of Tea Set by Gina Moxley (The White Bear/Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh) starring Amy Molloy. Recent work includes direction for Indignitas by Jonathan Skinner (Criterion Theatre, New Writing Showcase) and To The Free by Olga Nikora (Off-West End Adopt A Playwright Award reading). Sharon directed the UK Première of Birthday by Brooklyn-based playwright Crystal Skillman (Waterloo East Theatre/Camden Fringe) and wrote the foreword for the subsequent Samuel French publication. She has curated several new writing events for Kibo Productions and is currently working with award-winning playwright Jaki McCarrick (Leopoldville, PapaTango Prize) to develop Tussy, a new work on the life of feminist revolutionary Eleanor Marx. Sharon is also a freelance director, script reader and dramaturg and has worked across London on new writing for Little Pieces of Gold, The Off Cut Festival, Papa Tango Theatre Company, and Salt Theatre Company.
May Cunningham (Grace) has a BA in Film & Theatre, and furthered her Acting training at The Oxford School of Drama. Prior to training she studied acting with the Sylvia Young Stage School and LAMDA. Her theatre credits include The 38th Parallel (Park Theatre), A Family Beyond the Army (Edinburgh), The Last Day of the Rest Of Your Life and How Many?
Matthew John Wright (Malcolm) trained at the David Johnson School of Acting in Manchester. Recent theatre roles include The Things She Left Behind (Stockwell Playhouse), Above (Park Theatre), Great Expectations (West Yorkshire Playhouse), In Search of England (Theatre N16) and A Million Things (Contact Theatre, Manchester).
The Big Things runs until 5 May 2018 at Barons Court Theatre, 28a Comeragh Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 9HR, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £12 (concessions £9). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!