FORGIVE ME a project about autism and gaming

by Tamsin Shasha in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th October 2023 we successfully raised £1,340 with 33 supporters in 28 days

To raise funds for an important new intergenerational theatre project exploring autism and gaming and the correlation between the two.

by Tamsin Shasha in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

What's the project about?

Forgive Me is an exciting and ambitious theatre project exploring the correlation between autism and gaming and a mother's navigation of her son's diagnosis.  



It does this in an innovative, interactive and compelling way using high quality graphics, physical theatre, animation and live interactive gaming.



It's an authentic, intergenerational piece, based on the creator's navigation and understanding of her own son's diagnosis and how gaming functions to support his individual needs.  

Fighting Monsters and the Pole:

Forgive Me also explores our individual human need to fight monsters, be they real or fantasy and showcases the solo performer's pole work to explore relevant themes in the play such as fear, empowerment and escape.  


The pole comes to represent the mother's playground, vantage point and battlefield, at times offering her an escape route, at others magnifying her feeling of isolation. 



In a journey to understand her son's autism and his love of gaming the mother realises that she has to play the game. In doing so she discovers that fighting monsters together is better than battling alone.

The Creative Team:

My background is as a performer, writer and theatre maker and Artistic Director of Actors of Dionysus. I am working with some brilliant creatives to realise the potential of this project including award winning director Helen Tennison with whom I collaborated on Fringe First winning Everything I See I Swallow:


I am also working with digital pioneers BRiGHTBLACK, video designer and mapping specialist Giles Thacker, sound designer Matt Eaton, set and costume designer Maira Vazeou and lighting designer Will Reynolds.

Engagement work 

I am running a series of workshops for young people at Varndean Sixth Form College with Head of Philosophy, Fleur Shorthouse-Hemmings on the subject of autism, gaming and critical thinking.

Gaming journalist  and author of Taming Gaming, Andy Robertson is also working on the project as Video Game Analyst and Family Gaming Expert. Andy is founder of the essential guide to video games Family Gaming Database. For Forgive Me we'll be developing an intergenerational digital playground for children and their parents, as part of the project's future engagement work, aiming to support families as they navigate an increasingly digital world.

Preview and feedback:

The show has already previewed at the Lowry further to a period of Arts Council funded research and development. Feedback to the preview was excellent:

"Forgive Me is a remarkable tour de force - bursting with ideas and full of unforgettable images...this is physical theatre with real heart and intelligence" 

Steve Cowton, Head of Theatre Operations at The Lowry.

Other audience members feedback include: "outstanding, moving and bold, innovative, amazing, funny, relatable"

Aim of funding support:

I'm looking to raise a minimum of £5000 prior to second stage project development, which will allow me to undertake further research, connecting to gaming developers with a view to enhancing digital content and also interviewing children and parents about their experiences of autism. This research will feed into second stage creative development and be invaluable to the future evolution of the project. I am looking to have conversations with young or emerging gaming developers who feel inspired by the project and its specialised subject matter with a view to future collaboration.

Why this project is worth supporting:

Forgive Me is a love letter to autism and a plea to listen. It will raise awareness of an often misunderstood condition and it's an argument to create a more caring, compassionate and empathetic world. 

I hope that you'll support me on this exciting and important journey.

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