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Little-recognised crime under the spotlight

25 September 2018

Actor James Ashton from the Quiet Hands company
Actor James Ashton from the Quiet Hands company

Latest theatre from Creative Writing’s Tim Rhys puts Mate Crime centre stage at the Senedd

"A visceral and moving story - hard to watch but impossible to tear your eyes away" (Theatre in Wales)

The latest play from writer/academic Tim Rhys, Quiet Hands, is to be performed at the National Assembly at the invitation of Assembly Member Mark Isherwood, Chair of the Cross-party Autism Group and sponsor of the event.

With the predatory abuse of mate crime now on a devastating scale, according to The National Autistic Society, the play puts the little-recognised crime under the spotlight.

Young adults on the autistic spectrum are especially vulnerable, as they are often socially isolated, lacking the social networks that protect most of us. Those living alone can be befriended, fooled into trusting new unproven friends and then systematically robbed, defrauded and bullied.

Often unnoticed, this abuse has sometimes led to horrific, even lethal violence. Victims are often unwilling or unable to escape or to tell anyone what is happening to them.

A hard-hitting exploration of the predatory form of hate crime perpetrated against the most vulnerable in society, Quiet Hands follows Touch Blue Touch Yellow autistic protagonist Carl in his attempt to rebuild relations with his lost brother.

Quiet Hands has received plaudits from both the worlds of theatre and disability arts.

Rhys’s “powerful relatable drama" (British Theatre Guide) is acclaimed for its authenticity, “using playful banter which shades into overt bullying. Under Chris Durnall’s direction, the atmosphere of threat remains tangible throughout.”

In the world of autism, the phase ‘quiet hands’ is used in compliance-based therapies for people on the autistic spectrum, where the phrase encourages autistic children to stop stimming – the repetitive body movement which conveys mood, feelings and thoughts. The practice is now falling out of favour, with professionals understanding the importance of stimming.

The development of Quiet Hands was supported by the Wales Autism Research Centre.

This performance at the Pierhead has been made possible through the impact fund of the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Quiet Hands takes place at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 10th October at 4.30pm. A limited number of free tickets are available in advance only for the special performance, including a reception and a Question and Answer session with the writer, director and cast.