c21 Theatre Company Shines a Spotlight on Asperger’s

ONE of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, c21, tackles the personal journey of a young woman affected by Asperger’s syndrome, in their latest production of ‘It Only Takes a Minute’.

Taking to stages across Northern Ireland and County Monaghan, ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ embarks on a 13-date tour, which kickstarts on Saturday 6th October in the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn. Concluding in The Mac Theatre in Belfast from Wednesday 7th – Saturday 10th November with closing night of the tour taking place on Friday 16th November.

The punchy and fast paced one-woman show is performed by the extremely talented disabled actress, Anna Kyle from East Belfast, who takes the lead as Michelle, a 26-year-old woman with Asperger’s syndrome. Following her diagnosis, the play takes you on Michelle’s rollercoaster journey through life, presenting a series of flashbacks as she relives a number of key moments in her teenage years, growing up in the 1990’s.

Sound tracked by the music and lyrics of Take That, Michelle looks to the famous boy band as her confidants, mentors and best friends in the solace of her bedroom. However, soon becoming an obsession, we see the effects of Michelle’s diagnosis come to light, as she begins to take the lyrics all too literally.

A culmination of events leads Michelle to breaking point and a meltdown forces her to face up to the reality of her life, learning the truth about herself and the world around her.

The play is co-written by leading lady Anna Kyle, alongside co-writer and director, Tom Rowntree-Finlay from Newtownabbey.

Creative Director of c21 Theatre Company, Stephen Kelly said, “I am really excited about this show. The beauty of theatre is that it brings to life issues that are faced by many in the modern world. Theatre is a way of communicating the harsh realities of real life in a fun and honest way and this show is the perfect example of that.”

“It creates an understanding in the public eye as to what a person goes through during their life and provides comic relief during times of sincere emotion.”

The production is a mix of excitement, uncertainty and sometimes an all too real overload of emotion, casting a light on the increasing number of females with undiagnosed Asperger’s and their struggle living in a neurotypical society.

Co-writer and director, Tom Rowntree-Finlay said, “I am delighted to be taking this show on the road. We have worked hard for a long time to portray an honest experience of someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, life is messy and unpredictable at times and I think this play offers a slice of reality to the public.

“I would like to thank Anna for bringing our words to life in a beautiful way, her performance is effortless and allows you to connect in a very real way to Michelle’s struggle.”

Stephen continues, “Tom and Anna have written a brilliant and brutally honest script and Anna does an incredible job of capturing every facet of Michelle’s personality. I have no doubt that you will all love the show as much as I do.”

Following the successes of ‘Ardnaglass on Air’ and May the Road Rise Up, ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ is set to be another hit.

The production is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through National Lottery Funding. Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said; “The Arts Council is proud to support another production by c21 Theatre Company. c21 has a fantastic reputation in providing a platform for challenging subjects which are often ignored in the public eye. This is an important piece of theatre and I would encourage you all to go and see it.”

‘It Only Takes a Minute’ is also proudly sponsored by Doyle Shipping Group and Halifax Foundation NI.

Performances take place from Saturday 6th October – Friday 16th November. Tickets are available online via each theatre’s website, for more information on where to buy tickets visit, c21theatrecompany.com. Make sure to like c21 Theatre Company on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for exclusive updates and show information.