The Aspie Hour’ is a musical comedy that explores the lives of Sophie Smyth and Ryan Smedley, both of whom were diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) at a young age. The show explores their stories on how each of them face it head on in their own way.
Both Sophie and Ryan find a common coping mechanism, which happens to be musical theatre. The start of the show begins with a musical number involving both Sophie and Ryan, ‘The Aspie Hour’, a very boppy number that will get you tapping your feet along to the beat. We are told of some of the symptoms of Asperger’s: anxiety, depression, social awkwardness. The audience is asked to raise their hand on whether they would like to hear Ryan or Sophie’s story first.
The audience is given a certain amount of time for each character to learn and completely adore both of them as they put their hearts and souls into their performances. Ryan shares his moments of going to New York by himself through the use of original songs, describing moments he never thought he would experience himself due to his AS. The songs are very heartwarming, you truly feel like you were on the journey with him through his detailed lyrics and expressive choreography.
Sophie, dressed in a custom made Dorothy outfit from the Wizard of Oz, describes her life coping with AS as a musical. Musicals are a big way that Sophie is able to express herself comfortably. The songs she sings are from popular musicals with of course the lyrics altered to fit in with her story. We go through the ups and downs of her life, her struggles and achievements. The Aspie Hour is a very fun and interactive show, the characters make the audience feel included by asking questions and even mingling with a few people in the crowd. The audience is left on a positive note, that nobody is perfect, everyone is different, but also the same.
The Aspie Hour is on at the Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 5 April. Tickets, show details and accessibility information are available via the MICF website.