Slow start to complex plot

The Royal Court stages its first play with neurodivergent actors

Housni Hassan in Imposter 22

Imposter 22 is the first-ever play performed entirely by neurodivergent actors at London’s Royal Court Theatre.

The actors are from Access All Areas, which has a track record of making top-quality performance by learning disabled and autistic artists.

It should have been quite an evening. However, something didn’t quite work and it was a mixed bag.

Imposter 22
Access All Areas
Royal Court, London

The main problem was with the script, a murder mystery in which the performers both play parts and step out to comment on what is going on. The plot is complicated, and this makes it baffling at times.

Act one felt like drawn-out scene setting, in which not too much happened. Some audience members left at the interval – a shame, as act two felt much better, was faster paced and easier on the ear, and gave the actors a chance to hit their stride.

There are some stand-out moments. Housni Hassan (aka DJ) playing jolly Kev, superbly delivers a moving suicidal monologue in a voicemail to his mother: “I’m at the station, on the bridge. Sorry. I’ve been having those thoughts again… I want to have a job and a car and sex and I’m tired of spreading love and giving out hugs and lighting up the room with my smile.”

Moments like this gave a glimpse of how this play could have been.