Arts Review

Drizzle Boy Opening Night

Drizzle Boy is autistic. Drizzle boy is poked and prodded and diagnosed by a world that looks to change his ways and a family that can't understand him. When he meets Juliet at University, he questions if he could finally find some calm in his universe. 

Diagnosed as autistic at the age of 19, writer Ryan Enniss has managed to turn adversity and social stigma into a stunning piece of drama and comedy that has all the vital elements to captivate audiences. Drizzle Boy originated as an exploration into Enniss’s lived experiences and of other neurodivergent people that he knows, along with many of the misinformed thoughts and actions surrounding autism and the autistic experience.

The coming of age tale manages to effortlessly blend magic and realism with a romantic subplot, with timeline leaping that could give Christopher Nolan’s films a run for their money. We meet D.B played by (Daniel R Nixon) getting ready for his first day of University studying physics and he’s packing his childhood cuddly toy Space Bear into his backpack. This is Nixon’s theatre debut and he shines like a bright new star managing to create an endearing and heartrending character out of Drizzle Boy. The audience is invited along a cosmic journey through time and space as we delve into the inner psychological history of a neurodivergent person and understand his hopes and fears and longing for independence and acceptance.

The supporting cast, with only two other members who collectively make over 20 costume changes each, with (Naomi Price) playing Drizzle Boy's love interest, Juliet, his overbearing mother, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshokova, Dustin Hoffman, Google & a Doctor. Kevin Spink is the third and final lead who brings a lot of the humour through his characters, like the zany uni professor, or the hilarious satanic Geppetto voice of negativity. However it's his compassionately flawed father character who helps to bring some of the biggest laughs and emotional scenes to the show.

The set is at first glance minimal but before long its rotating, invoking streets or planetary cosmic orbits with flashing lights, lockers and trapdoors, which illuminate the onstage action. The play introduces Drizzle Boy's love for space and physics early on and the theme is consistently explored as the story leaps backwards or forwards in time and even into the multiverse of possible happenings. 

Queensland Theatre's Drizzle Boy has already won the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award from a field of 200 entries and it doesn't take long to realise why. It's a powerhouse performance with a stellar cast who give it their all. It's a story of love and understanding, figuring out where you fit in this world. It's beautiful, funny, moving and a highly rewarding performance.

Review By: Thomas Harrison

Photo By: Brett Boardman


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