Captivated by the wonderful world of Tribe …

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By VIEW editor Brian Pelan

Theatre Review: Tribe, Replay Theatre Company

Tribe cast: Michael Johnston, Catriona McFeely and Mary McGurk

As a child I was fascinated by the Narnia books. I devoured the CS Lewis series as the idea of disappearing into another world for a while with adults being unaware that you had been gone for a while throughly appealed to my imagination.

I had that sense of joy unexpectedly returned to me when I wandered into the Peter Pan-type set at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, of Tribe, produced by Replay Theatre for autistic audiences.

Belfast-based Replay Theatre, who have more than 30 years of experience in producing arts adventures for younger audiences, has created Tribe which is aimed at autistic/neurodivergent young people aged eight to 18. The company will spend week-long residencies in special schools in September and October, after premiering to an invited audience at the Lyric Theatre.

The young boy who witnessed the show that I attended was soon entranced by the three cast members of Tribe – Michael Johnston, Catriona McFeely and Mary McGurk.

Lights, music, and jungle sounds filled the room in a breath-taking display of imaginative theatre. I forgot all about my earthly woes and incessant Brexit chatter as I allowed my mind and eyes to succumb to the sound of rain and the beating of drums for around 45 minutes. It felt somewhat sad to exit this joyful world to return to ‘normality’.

Replay Theatre Company deserve full credit for devising Tribe.

For more about the theatre company, go to https://www.replaytheatreco.org/

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