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January 2011



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First Published Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Stage Curtains

A new play, Peas, written by a person with Asperger syndrome, is being staged in Liverpool in February.

The play deals with the relationship between Bunny, a 30-year-old with Asperger syndrome and his mother, Mrs Kemp.

Dhanil Ali, the play’s writer, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in his 40s. He describes the play as a dark comedy, and explains that when things get too much for the main character, Bunny, he retreats into his own world which is filled with the voices of the Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who, Stephen Hawking and Alan Bennett.

Dhanil has previously written the plays Hancock: The Lost Half Hours, A Play In The Life Of Alan Bennett and The Hylda Baker Show.

Peas is on from 4-7 February at:

The Unity Theatre
1 Hope Place
Liverpool L1 9BG

The play starts at 8pm each night. To book tickets contact the theatre on 0151 709 4988. Tickets cost £9.00 (£7.00 concession).

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Source:  http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=253&a=18515

‘Through writing, I have found the best therapy’

PLAYWRIGHT Dhanil Ali has Asperger’s Syndrome. He also has a string of hit productions to his name that includes Hancock – The Lost Half Hours (a play based on the life of comedian Tony Hancock) and the comedy Gideon March.

Now he is hoping his latest work, The Hylda Baker Show, will also pull in the crowds.

Starring Pauline Daniels, the play is set behind the scenes of Hylda’s famous 60’s comedy TV series, Nearest and Dearest, and shows facets of her life previously unseen – plus her spats with co- star Jimmy Jewel.

“Through writing I have found the best therapy ever,” says Dhanil, 51.

“I have my social limitations, I know, and simple tasks such as shopping and paying bills and coping with everyday life can be daunting.

“But Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t have to stop life in its tracks.” If you take time and tap into it you will find something wonderful.

Next year Dhanil will undertake his most ambitious project yet.

He says: “It’s called ‘Peas’ and tells the story of a middle aged man with learning difficulties who lives with his over protective mother.

“For the most part it is a comedy, although it does have some very dark moments.”

He is also working on another theatre piece, Christie & Evans, a play that looks at the relationship between serial killer Reginald Christie and Timothy Evans.

The Hylda Baker Show runs until October 21 at The Actors Studio, Seel Street, Liverpool. Tel: 0151-709 9034.

Source:    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/10/11/through-writing-i-have-found-the-best-therapy-100252-22022468/

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