alexithymia (2017)

Presented in collaboration with Citizen Theatre, written by Tom Middleditch and directed by Jayde Kirchert, staged at Meat Market as part of Poppy Seed Theatre Festival.

Alexithymia was an anthology of three sci-fi-/speculative fiction stories inspired by the condition of alexithymia, the inability to identify one’s own emotions. The pieces explored phenomenology, society, technology, mental health and the challenges of balancing personal preference or self-knowledge with belonging and success.

 Critical response:

“...neurodiverse experience raises profound human questions, as well as challenges. At its best, Alexithymia probes them without skimping on emotional intelligence, nuance or complexity.” – Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald

“Middleditch’s writing is muscular, funny, ironic, moving, multi-faceted. It provides a rich canvas with which the neuro-diverse cast and creative team of Alexithymia can play in the world of naming (and not knowing how to name) complex emotions and states of being we all struggle to define but are often medically forced to do.” – Melinda Keyte, ArtsHub

Pictured: Keagan Vaskess, Nicola Bowman and Emma Hoy in  Alexithymia ; set design by Stuart Brown; lighting design by Peter Amesbury; photography by Pippa Samaya.

Pictured: Keagan Vaskess, Nicola Bowman and Emma Hoy in Alexithymia; set design by Stuart Brown; lighting design by Peter Amesbury; photography by Pippa Samaya.


pinocchio restrung (2016)

Written and directed by Tom Middleditch, staged at Metanoia Theatre (now known as Brunswick Mechanics Institute) as part of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival.  

Pinocchio Restrung was an adaptation of the classic story set in a modern/fantastical Australia, exploring themes of self-acceptance, social convention, parenting without a road map, the (mis)education of autistic people, and surrealist fairy tale as metaphor for autistic lived experience.

 Critical response:

“Tom Middleditch has adapted Pinocchio’s tale as an allegory for a boy with autism who is attempting to become a “real boy”. Middleditch, himself on the autism spectrum, has created a thoughtful intelligent story that not only looks at the anxieties and difficulties people with autism can experience but also those their parents undergo in attempting to understand and accept their child as they are.” – Myron My, Theatre Press

Pictured: Matt Olden in  Pinocchio Restrung ; creature design by Jacinta Anderson and John Collopy; lighting design by John Collopy; photography by Jules Kaddatz.

Pictured: Matt Olden in Pinocchio Restrung; creature design by Jacinta Anderson and John Collopy; lighting design by John Collopy; photography by Jules Kaddatz.


Them aspies (2014, remounted 2015)

Co-created by directors Jess Gonsalvez and Tom Middleditch and full devising cast, staged at and presented with Monash University Student Theatre.

Them Aspies was a collaborative devised work, an off-kilter sketch drama/comedy, exploring themes of identity, confusion, coping, post-diagnosis self-regard, isolation, victimisation, therapy, abuse, and self-acceptance.

Them Aspies’ devising cast included: Jacinta Anderson, Matthew Church (2014 run only), James Matthews, Hugo Ménard (2015 run only), Isabella Octigan, Matthew Portelli, Eliza Quinn, Shamita Sivabalan, Luis Viota and Ronnie Yang.

Critical response:

“With conversation in regards to autism constantly present in the media and a rise in autism diagnoses, Them Aspies answers questions about autism and Asperger’s in an innovative and refreshing way that resonates with you long after the show is over.” – Carina Florea, Lot’s Wife

“Groundbreaking, not only in its use of theatrical techniques to portray the experiences of people on the spectrum, but also the level of insight and wisdom into all aspects of Aspie-hood.” - Lyndel Kennedy, author and former President of Aspergers Victoria Inc.

Pictured: Luis Viota, Matthew Portelli, Isabelle Octigan, Jacinta Anderson, James Matthews, Shamita Sivabalan, Ronnie Yang, Eliza Quinn and Hugo Menard in  Them Aspies (2015) ; lighting design by John Collopy and Jess McLaughlin Cafferty; photography by: Jarrod Rose

Pictured: Luis Viota, Matthew Portelli, Isabelle Octigan, Jacinta Anderson, James Matthews, Shamita Sivabalan, Ronnie Yang, Eliza Quinn and Hugo Menard in Them Aspies (2015); lighting design by John Collopy and Jess McLaughlin Cafferty; photography by: Jarrod Rose

Video created by Piper Huynh, featuring Them Aspies directors Jess Gonsalvez and Tom Middleditch, and Them Aspies’ 2015 devising cast, with music by Daniel Aguiar.