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First Published Monday, 8th September, 2008.

Rain Man cast and crew visit NAS service


A new production of the hit 1980s film Rain Man is opening in London’s West End in September, and The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been working with the cast and crew to help them understand the nature of autism.

The story focuses on two long-lost brothers, Charlie and Raymond Babbit, one of whom (Raymond) is an autistic savant living in residential care.

The play’s director recently spent a full day at the NAS Godalming resource centre learning about autism and meeting service users, staff and families.

Bettina Stott, who manages the Godalming centre, and Caroline Hattersley from the NAS Information, Advice and Advocacy service, have also been working with leading cast members Josh Hartnett, who plays Charlie, and Adam Godley, who plays Raymond, to help them understand what it would be like to have autism.


Bettina said:

“They were really interested in all the different services we provide and in the views of people at the service. The director spent several hours talking to service users and they had plenty of opinions about the film!”

NAS staff and service users were keen to ensure that the production team understood that not everyone affected by autism has savant skills, as this is still a common misconception.

Caroline Hattersley added:

“Although savantism is extremely rare, Rain Man put the spotlight on autism at a time when very few people knew anything at all about the condition. Now, times have moved on but there is still a great deal to be done to ensure people with autism get the services and support they urgently need. We hope that this new production will help us to raise further awareness.”

Rain Man is showing at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. More information is available at www.rainmanonstage.com and tickets can be bought by phone at 0844 412 4658. The NAS is not involved with ticket sales.

Source:  http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=253&a=17311

Dear Readers,

I hope to bring you a personal review of Rain Man shortly.

Julie



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