Review: Hindsight

A sensitive insight into autism from the award-winning Fox and Hound theatre company

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 03 Aug 2019
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Laura isn’t doing well in school. She is disruptive, her teacher says, unable to focus and a danger to the other children. Something needs to be done.

When we meet Laura, she is sweet and vulnerable: practicing dance routines, playing with her beloved doll Bear, and agonisingly questioning why the numbers won’t stop moving on her maths worksheet. We can see immediately what her teacher can’t; that the problem is something deeper altogether that frustrates Laura as much as it does the adults around her. This is when Hindsight is at its most effective, giving the audience a direct view into the experience of a child with autism – a word only uttered once in a script heavy with its presence.

In the standout scene, Laura and Bear attempt to tackle a maths problem of the familiar format in which characters buy a particular volume of apples and walk a certain number of miles. “Apples don’t cost 10p anywhere”, Laura points out, somewhat reasonably. Where is he getting these apples? Where is she walking to? What if she gets abducted? Suddenly the problem doesn’t make much sense to us either.

Between these creative triumphs, though, the script can be somewhat repetitive and the writing slightly rambling. Multiple scenes between Laura’s mother and her teacher retread the same ground. Scenes in school are rehashed without much new coming to light. Hindsight is a sensitive handling of an important issue. While it could be tighter in places, audiences will certainly leave with increased empathy and understanding.