Dorothy’s dilemma

Playwright Jessica Irwin introduces her new show, In a Land of Oz

In a Land of Oz

In a Land of Oz is showing at Ye Olde Rose and Crown

Drama society Script to Performance is bringing In a Land of Oz to the live stage in Walthamstow this month.

Throughout the play, the audience questions Dorothy’s mental state, and more specifically, whether she is autistic. She spends time in her room focusing on a bag of her old belongings received from her mother and to her surprise, an Oz-like fantasy world emerges before her eyes.

With this childlike experience, comes the long-repressed truth about her state of mind. The play focuses on the two opposing worlds in Dorothy’s life; reality versus fantasy. Her journey is uneasy and challenging, yet she is led to where she needs to be. She has moved in with her boyfriend and their relationship reveals challenges that Dorothy has suppressed to fit in with modern society. Only time will tell if the protagonist can face her issues and cope with them!

There has been research conducted by professors at University College London (UCL), Autism Community Training (ACT) in Canada, and by the National Autism Society, revealing that the number of women undiagnosed with autism is greater than it used to be.

The theme of In a Land of Oz touches on this subject as Dorothy shares some traits of an individual with high-functioning autism but throughout the play the audience questions her mental state of mind.

I am originally from Dublin but I have been a member of Leytonstone’s Woodhouse Players for more than two years, both performing in and publicising their shows. One of my previous plays, Flight 175, was read at the Leytonstone Library Readings in 2015.

Having spent the last six years writing In a Land of Oz, I decided to produce it here in Walthamstow at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub. It will be showing this month.

In a Land of Oz shows at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub, 53 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th May. Tickets are £10 on the door or £8 online.


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