Pretty much every man, woman and child in Britain has read/studied/heard of this book:
It’s actually one of the few books I’ve read in recent years, it’s unconventional and it’s got drawings and the chapters are in prime numbers! How zany. On a serious note, it’s about Asperger syndrome and is an interesting as well as enjoyable look at the condition.
Anyway, the guy who wrote that book has written a play. It’s called Polar Bears and the clue is sort of in the title (although apparently unintentionally) – it’s about bipolar disorder amongst other things.
Without giving anything away, the brilliant things about this play were:
- Charming, bite-size insights into dramatic and frayed family relationships. (Not in an Eastenders way, in a fascinating and cool way!)
- A philosophy lecture.
- Fast paced directional style in which we see cutting between mismatched nonlinear scenes.
- Graphic and scientific descriptions of decaying bodies.
- A new and often true depiction of Jesus.
Not so brilliant:
- A clichéd and often false depiction of Jesus.
- Tendency to go on a bit in one segment about a fairytale.
Cool play though. I once watched a play called The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Nielson, and although it was much more fantastical than this play, they both fundamentally ask a similar question, should a mentally ill person take the pills and live a potentially second rate life, or stop taking them and live in the playground of the imagination (along with it’s nightmares)?
Haddon’s play also focused on a husband’s duty/obligation/desire to help his wife in sickness and in health. It was touching to see such a display of affection (at points) and to see where it can lead.