My Name is Richard
5-30 August, 19.55
Opening with a voice over telling us that Richard (Blair Anderson) was "definitely on the spectrum", this new musical could have done so much more to explore the life of a young boy living with Asperger syndrome. In spite of long periods of exposition with Richard directly addressing the audience, we never really scraped the surface of the character or gained any insight into living with the condition.
Working with a clumsy book, which often descended to cliche, the cast did well to keep energy in performance. Frequently referring to Richard as a "freak" and giggling when he interpreted every day turns of phrase such as "put a sock in it" literally appeared to be the writer's shorthand, reminding us that there was something wrong with the central character.
The large cast gave strong vocal performances across the board, but at no point did it feel like they were being pushed by the score. Running to a lengthy hour and 40 minutes, including an interval, this musical needs to give its characters the opportunities to express themselves in more sophisticated ways before it can explore the world from the interesting perspective it was attempting to.