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Hampshire based theatre company Forest Forge’s new production, The Boy at the Edge of the Room, is a gothic style fairytale exploring the world of a boy on the autistic spectrum and starts a national tour this Spring, and comes to Abergavenny’s Borough theatre on 14th March.
Lee Rufford (Tony)

Lee Rufford (Tony)

“He was not like other boys….He did not see the world through the same eyes as us.”

A boy called Tony struggles to fit in and find his place. He has a different way of looking at the world and longs to retreat to a place where he can be ‘’nothing more than small and far off’. Those surrounding him have little patience for his dreams, with the exception of his mother who will do anything to ensure his happiness.

When a mysterious ‘dealer’ offers Tony the chance to make his dream come true, his mother must face a future without him….

Director Kirstie Davis comments:

“The Boy at the Edge of the Room is a gothic fairy tale for adults which has been inspired by a Victorian story by Lucy Clifford entitled Wooden Tony. Using puppetry, animation and live music we will bring this extraordinary story to life that explores a young boy who cannot deal with the world as he sees it and which leads to a shocking and haunting ending.”

Helen Jeckells (Mother) and Christopher Chamberlain (Father)

Helen Jeckells (Mother) and Christopher Chamberlain (Father)

Writer Richard Conlon explains his motivation to write the play:

“In May 2002 I read an article which opened my eyes to the Wooden Tony story and its wider implications. The gothic tale, thought to be the first known literary exploration of autism, inverts and predates the Pinocchio story and has been under my skin ever since. My desire is for this piece to be easily as visual as it is textual – I want the words to be the springboard for a director, designer, musician, puppeteer and choreographer to create something rich, beguiling, dark, unsettling and beautiful.”

The play has been informed by and developed with young people on the autistic spectrum and their parents, with advice from Hampshire Autistic Society. An audio and visual exhibition offering the opportunity to experience an artistic expression of what it feels like to be autistic in society today will accompany the production, and the run coincides with World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April.

For box office enquiries call 01873 850805 or visit


The UK tour of  The Boy at the Edge of the Room runs 7 March to 20 April. For more information visit

Press release from Forest Forge

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