by Christian McBride
Over two decades on from when Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise took to the screen together in what would become a classic, Neil Morrissey and Oliver Chris will now bring their own version of the hit film Rain Man to Edinburgh’s King’s Theater. The 1988 film scooped academy awards for best picture, best actor in a leading role (Hoffman) and best writing among others, big shoes to fill indeed for Morrissey and Chris.
The two are certainly not new faces, the pair both having made British television fame in Men Behaving Badly and The Green Wing respectively. But these are comedic shows. These men are comedy actors. And though there is a comedy element to Rain Man there is a very real, very touching, dramatic side to the story.
Mary McBride, a community nurse dealing with those with learning disabilities, has said that, “Hoffman did a good job of capturing a lot of the characteristics of autism like communication difficulties but I think it gave the public the wrong impression at the time, that autistic people all have some extraordinary abilities. But it did well to bring autism to the public sphere”
Morrissey would do well to be aware of the risks playing an autistic man. His past may lend itself to the comedic side of autism and there are those that may see this as a mockery of the condition.
But, this is to prejudge him, Morrissey may be looking to expand and enrich his acting by taking on this serious role.
Rain Man, showing at King’s Theater, Edinburgh, Tue 10th – Sat 14th November, 7.30pm tickets from £15