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Emma Robdale

I am Emma Robdale and I have recently finished an MA in Creative Writing at Brighton University. My posts will feature short stories and poetry that incorporate elements of my own experiences with learning difficulties. This blog will also feature articles on how to develop and expand upon Disability Culture, with particular focus on Spectrum qualities in women. Women on the Spectrum are currently being underrepresented within media covering Autism and Asperger's and it is my hope that this can be remedied.

Posts by Emma Robdale

Film still of man lying on a sofa while a woman sits next to him with a notepad

Frosted Glass: Demystifying Asperger’s through Spoken Word

The independent film ‘Frosted Glass’ has shown at multiple film festivals and won silver at the International Independent Film Festival in 2017. Detailing the life of a poet with Asperger’s, the story is semi-autobiographical having been written by Anthony Fairweather, a writer and spoken word performer who has Asperger’s. Believing ...

Puppet Death and my end thoughts to performing with Stealth Aspies…. 11/08/18

Now… I don’t know whether I enjoyed it or not… but the Famous Puppet Death Scenes show needs a mention. It was one hour thirty of different famous puppet death scenes from various performances over the last 200 years! (all around three minutes long)  – including a children’s game show where ...

Headshot of the performer Jess Thom

Last Day at the Fringe!!! – 11/08/18

I decided to stay one more day… because I had been told that Jess Thoms was going to be in the audience (founder of Tourette’s Hero… whom I have previously written an article; BBC Two’s Documentary ‘Me, My Mouth and I’: Biscuits! Fuck a Goat! Hedgehog! However… I woke up in the ...

Menstruation and Scientology! Another Day at the Fringe! – 09/08/18

As I have been theatrical all my life…I had quite a few friends who are also theatrical, and who were also performing. When I lived in Sheffield I used to be in a movement– Period Positive (which was all about counter-acting stigmas around menstruation for girls and women). Chella Quint, whom ...

HUNG OVER…. BUT IT’S SHOW TIME!!! 09/08/18

Hung over!!! – But woke up early to write this diary/blog!!! – Mind a bit ‘glunky’ – planning to watch a variety of things. But so far only booked for one; a feminist production called, ‘Norris and ParkerK Burn the Witch’ – Debauched Late-night sketch comedy for lovers of the ...

Even More Performances!!!/I’M STILL STANDING!(and performing!) 08/08/18

Time to see a show… before our show!!! –…. Ministers of Grace: The Unauthorised Shakespearean Parody of Ghostbusters. I was curious… but not knowing a huge amount about Shakespeare… and only having watched around two episodes of Ghostbusters I was worried I wouldn’t understand the performance. However, it was quite ...

Edinburgh Fringe – So, so, so many performances!!! (Death by Drama!) – 07/08/16

I’ve seen so many performances now… that I’m just going to give a summary of the best… and, the worst!!!! (The good, the bad, and the ugly!) The 'leafleters' were trying more and more bizarre things to get peoples attention... including pretending to be dead... Alain (fellow Stealth Aspie!) invited me ...

Clothes and other mess strewn on the floor

THE BAD MORNING – 06/08/18

… I was feeling a bit more comfortable now; I’d sorted my stuff. I’d recovered from my train journey. I knew the area…. Or so I thought. A fire alarm went off in my apartment. It was about an hour before our performance. I know usual procedure is to get out… ...

Later in the day…. WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO SEE!!!! (and sleep) 05/08/18

I thought it was ok… but I’ve just fallen asleep in a park. I was just taking a little explore around Edinburgh (which is still as beautiful as I remember… even if it is now splattered with thousands of show posters), taking a look at the craft markets when BOOM. ...

Flyer for the performance group Stealth Aspies

IT’S SHOW TIME BABY!!! 05/08/18

I WAKE UP. Sarah is practising her lines in the kitchen. I apply make-up precisely hoping that it’ll make me feel confident… it does. I look fantastic. I complete my look with my iconic orange hat (that I bought from Thailand). I have a choice of two T-shirts I can ...

Aspie Manor! – 04/08/18

Paul Wady kindly came to pick me up from the station at 9.30 pm… 5 and a half hours after I was supposed to arrive in Edinburgh! (… turning a 6-and-a-half-hour journey into 11-and-a-half hours!!!) I’m traumatised… I was stuck a twenty-minute walk from a station… for three hours… without air ...

Emma Robdale self-portrait

The Extra Long Train – 04/08/18

I NEED TO PACK. Today I am leaving. TODAY. It takes six and a half hours to get to Edinburgh. First things first… print off the material for the show you finished last night! – can’t perform without a script!... well I could, but it wouldn’t be ideal - I worry ...

untidy bedroom floor

The Day Before the Train (procrastination day!) – 03/08/18

Shit. I’m going tomorrow, and I haven’t even edited the Laura monologue I’m reading (which I was supposed to do to make it more suitable for reading aloud!). I haven’t looked at any of the material since rehearsal. I’d gone into a state of denial; I wasn’t nervous about the show, ...

Rehearsal/OH NO!!! – It’s really happening!!! – 28/07/18

I should have been excited to meet everyone properly, but I had taken on too many articles and writing projects that week. Until the actual day of the rehearsal (today!)… I’d just being trying to empty my itinerary, like Mary Poppins’ itinerary bag. (She has a bag that can fit ...

Two disabled women chat and laugh from within two very large dustbins,

BBC Two’s Documentary ‘Me, My Mouth and I’: Biscuits! Fuck a Goat! Hedgehog!

Last Saturday 21st July, Jess Thom starred in the BBC Two documentary 'Me, My Mouth and I' - a film, co-produced by Touretteshero and Sunshine, shown as part of BBC TWO’s Performance Live strand (a partnership between BBC Arts, Arts Council England and Battersea Arts Centre). “Make Sure you pay ...

Pile of Covered Books

Preparing Materials/ I NEED STUFF TO PERFORM! – 20/07/18

Let’s get one thing clear. I have LOTS of writing. I have material on how insects mate, I have material on feminism, I have quirky stories about falling in love with starfish, I have screenplays, poetry, speeches on Free the Nipple…. But… I had pretty much nothing that would be ...

Emma Allen painting someone's head

Adam ‘Grey Matters’: Depression and Creative Expression

Emma Allen is an artist who specialises in body-art and stop frame animation. ‘Adam’, her latest film, brings together both of these passions. The animation is solely created from body art applied onto the unusual canvas of a man's shaven face and head. Interview by Emma Robdale. Emma Allen, who ...

Flyer for the performance group Stealth Aspies

Joining the Stealth Aspies – 28/06/17

Neurodivergence, Acting and Activism! For a week this blog will detail my experiences joining The Stealth Aspies (All Asperger's Theater group) and then proceed to detail my adventures performing at  Edinburgh Fringe... I opened FB Messenger and found a message from Sarah Saeed. I’d befriended her at a show she was in: Stealth Aspies, ...

Photo of the inside of a film venue

Action! Celebrating Neurodivergent Filmmakers. Cut!

On the 17th June Emma Robdale travelled to Crouch End’s Art House, London to see DYSPLA’s exhibition of Dyslexic and Neurodivergent filmmakers. Making her way down a quiet street she arrived at a cosy independent cinema and gallery. She discovered that the venue was owned by a dyslexic individual supporting ...

Stealth Aspies:

Stealth Aspies: Performing Autism

The Stealth Aspies are a theatre group of autistic individuals. They performed their spoken word show at Werks Central as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival between 23-27 May. Review by Emma Robdale. The troupe is comprised of Alain English, Sarah Saeed, Paul Wady and also Janine Booth, who is the ...

Grace Eyre Street: Noisy Neighbours

Grace Eyre Street: passionate about performance

Grace Eyre Street aired twice at The Purple Playhouse Theatre on 23 and 30 May as part of Brighton Fringe Festival. The charity specialises in helping adults with learning difficulties. All six actors are supported by the charity and live within Grace Eyre Towers. The piece was directed by Mark ...

Two Surnames comedy show, Fix My BRain

Two Surnames: Fix My Brain – comic relief for chronic depression

Fix my Brain is a two-hander comedy routine by the Two Surnames, exploring not only the trials of living with depression, but also the trials of someone living with someone living with depression. It played at the Warren as part of Brighton Fringe 12-22 May. Read on to discover how the duo managed ...

Leigh Johnstone

Rum in the Gravy Boat: the impact of an alcoholic parent

Rum in the Gravy Boat showed at the The Warren venue as part of Brighton Fringe Festival 11-13 May. It was produced by Fluid Motion Theatre Company, a group specializing in mental health. This two-person play was based upon the actor’s own memories of growing up with an alcoholic mother. ...

Exhibition shot, with walls and floor covered in coloured tape

Art by Johnny Carroll-Pell: exploring inclusive curation

Coinciding with Autism Awareness Week last month, 'Art by Johnny’ was a fabulously vibrant exhibition held at Phoenix Studios in Brighton, comprised solely of Johnny Carroll-Pell’s paintings. Johnny is a 20-year-old autistic artist who has been a member of the Rocket Artists studio for two years. In this time, he ...

Undercover Autistics

Having a diagnosis of Autism/Asperger’s can be an issue of identity and disclosure. From being presumed to have no sense of humour, no empathy and a limited understanding of social skills, to conversations where 'neurotypicals' list all suspected autistic relatives….  Maybe it's best not to disclose? Recently, while staying at a ...

Photo of a white woman presenting in front of a screen

Eclectic Dyslexics: Could Neurodiversity be Key to Artistic Success?

Dyslexia is often viewed in terms of difficulty, but have potential advantages been overlooked? DYSPLA, an organisation dedicated to ‘producing the work of dyslexic story-makers’ seeks the 'Dyslexic Aesthetic'. On the 15th March 2018 DYSPLA hosted a talk at the Crypt Gallery, London. Being a dyslexic writer herself, Emma Robdale was keen to find out more and sought out Lennie Varvarides, founder of DYSPLA, and proud ...

board

Can Autism Awareness be Counter-Productive?

Recently I attended a small talk on Autism Awareness. I took a seat around a large square table. While waiting for the speaker to arrive I chatted with a group of women; some told me that they had a daughter, son or brother on the spectrum and had come for advice. ...

Emma Robdale