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Putting mate crime centre stage

11 September 2017

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

Award-winning creative writer addresses devastating under-the-radar crime affecting vulnerable people in his latest play

Quiet Hands is a hard-hitting exploration of the alarming rise of mate crime – an insidious, predatory form of hate crime perpetrated against the most vulnerable in society.

Writer/academic Tim Rhys returns to theatre to put the spotlight on this unseen world.

His follow up to Touch Blue Touch Yellow sees young autistic protagonist Carl (Josh Manfield) attempt to rebuild relations with his lost brother.

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 their new “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.

Quiet Hands is the latest work from the Cardiff-based writer and Winterlight Theatre.

The previous collaboration Touch Blue Touch Yellow received plaudits from both the worlds of theatre and disability arts. Described as a “stunning piece of theatre” (Arts Disability Wales), the hard-hitting play was acclaimed as ‘theatre with instant, hard-hitting impact’ (New Welsh Review).

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

Quiet Hands premiered at Chapter Arts Centre on 11 September.

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