Drizzle Boy to premiere at Queensland Theatre

QT-Drizzle-Boy-Daniel-R-NixonWinner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2022-23, Queensland Theatre will explore a unique coming of age story when Drizzle Boy by Ryan Enniss opens debuting Australia’s first ever neurodivergent character portrayed by a neurodivergent actor.

Opening Thursday 16 March, Drizzle Boy follows a young, autistic boy as he embarks on his journey into adulthood and manhood taking back his story from a world of misunderstanding with irreverence and audacity.

A biting satire blending magical realism with a Kafkaesque journey of self-discovery, Drizzle Boy will follow the titular Drizzle Boy, portrayed by Daniel R Nixon (A Chorus Line, On The Town), in his first weeks at university as his parents, portrayed by Naomi Price (Ladies in Black, Rumour Has It) and Kevin Spink (Antigone, First Casualty), adapt to his burgeoning independence and even his first love.

Along the way audiences are invited into his imaginative psychological space meeting a number of his heroes including the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova and the goat-headed demon Baphomet, all an expression of his internal world.

Drizzle Boy is a classic coming of age story dealing with themes of hope, fear, love and independence, but it’s from the perspective of a neurodivergent person, which is something that I’ve never seen before,” said writer, Ryan Enniss.

“It feels almost indescribable to be putting out this play. I was diagnosed as autistic when I was nineteen years old and looking back prior to that moment; I had never seen myself or someone like me on stage, or screen or in film,” said Enniss.

At its very heart Drizzle Boy is a play about Australian identity, an identity that Ryan believes we are only just starting to explore. “In Australian media, I feel like we’re only just finding our identity and telling our own stories in the past five or ten years,” he said.

“For people like myself, who are neurodivergent, there are moments in this play where they will feel seen and represented in a way they haven’t before. For a broader Australia, there are moments where they will feel seen, held and noticed from a new perspective,” said Enniss.

Queensland Theatre Artistic Director, Lee Lewis, is hopeful that both Drizzle Boy and the opportunities created by the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award will lead Australian storytelling into a new era.

“This particularly Queensland Premier’s Drama Award was an opportunity to take the temperature of the nation at a time when things were changing hugely,” she said.

“It was an opportunity to understand the kinds of theatre that we’re going to be seeing in the next few years, stories that feel much more forward looking opposed to nostalgic for any past.”

“What was really lovely when Ryan’s play rose-up in the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, it had this really fresh voice, speaking with confidence and strength with a perspective that we don’t normally see on our stages.

“This young artist is leading us confidently into a new expression of identity in a time when people are really ready to hear it,” said Lewis.

Director: Daniel Evans | Featuring: Daniel R Nixon, Naomi Price, Kevin Spink | Designer: Christina Smith | Lighting Designer: Matt Scott | Composer/Sound Designer: Guy Webster | AV Designer: Nevin Howell | Stage Manager: Kat O’Halloran | Assistant Stage Manager: Nicole Neil | Writer: Ryan Enniss

Drizzle Boy
Bille Brown Theatre – Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Season: 16 – 28 March 2023 (previews: 11 – 15 March)
Information and Bookings: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au

Image: Drizzle Boy to premiere at Queensland Theatre (supplied)