I Christopher (Quietus Productions) follows the trials and tribulations of a man on the autism spectrum — Christopher — who just wants to fit in and find a job. It features actor and playwright Claudio Tamburri and is playing at Al Green Theatre at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Claudio Tamburri has penned a show that is both informative and relevant. Job placement is very important for those on the Autism spectrum, which is something that many may not consider or think about a lot. (Maybe we should start). Tamburri uses his own experiences to shed light on these issues such as workplace bullying, unfair termination and poor working conditions.
Tamburri depicts Christopher as a frustrated, I’ve-had-it-up-to-here type who has become increasingly aggravated with his work life. Whenever he gets a job, there is always a problem, usually through the fault of a co-worker, that sends him off packing. I was aware of how workplaces can discriminate against those with disabilities, but in I Christopher, you really get to see it being played out first hand.
Tamburri has a charming stage presence and a way about him that reminded me of a character in an old fashion gangster movie. Since the character has a degree in film studies, I assumed this inspired the “frame by frame” style of the show as well.
I thought the play was well thought out, but it could have used some technical production support. One example of this was a series of voice overs that Tamburri used to represent his bosses or bullies. It was sometimes distracting when they didn’t sync up with the material of the show. But since this was a preview, perhaps later shows will be tighter production wise.
This show covers an important issue. After seeing this show, it made me think about how truly unfair the situations it portrays are. There should be more workplaces around who are willing to change their protocols so that more people can feel safe and comfortable at work. I thought Tamburri did a great job in getting this point across in an authentic and honest way. The show even had some funny moments that lightened up this heavy issue.
This show is a great commentary on the current conditions of workplaces for those on the spectrum. If you would like to know more about this topic, check out I Christopher playing at Al Green Theatre at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
- I Christopher plays at Al Green Theatre (125 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- This venue is barrier-free. Note that only certain building entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in front of the front row.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Saturday July 5th, 4:45 pm
- Monday July 7th, 3:15 pm
- Tuesday July 8th, 9:45 pm
- Wednesday July 9th, 2:45 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 9:15 pm
- Friday July 12th, 6:15 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 7:30 pm
Photo of Claudio Tamburri.