What does it mean to be a sibling to someone who is autistic?

“There are about 700,000 people living in the UK with Autism”.

With an average family size of 2.4, there are at least 1, 680,000 autism family members/siblings. Every story is different. Joshua (and Me), playing at The Hope Theatre 8-19 of February 2022, explores one of these stories.

Meet Hannah, a young girl growing up in Blackpool with Mum, Dad, and two brothers, Ben and Joshua. The brothers are very different. Ben lets Hannah in his room, they play spies together, and, sometimes, he even gives her a hug. These things aren’t possible with Joshua. It’s like he speaks a different language.

We have to learn about each other’s worlds, says Mum.

Mission accepted.

Full of laughter, love, and original music, Joshua (and Me) explores what it’s like to grow up in a house where, however loved you are, your needs are not your family’s first concern. As Hannah grows, so does her understanding of Joshua. We journey with her from seven to eighteen, when it’s time to leave home. But Hannah’s life has been moulded around the needs of her brother: “I don’t know who I am if I’m not his sister”. How can she find her way in a world where no-one knows, or cares, what it’s like to be Joshua’s sister?

Based on Rachel Hammond’s own life, alongside stories from other siblings of individuals with additional needs, Joshua (and Me) provides permission and space for siblings to honestly and openly explore their experiences, too.