Cian Binchy, a recent graduate of Central School of Speech and Drama’s Performance Making Diploma for adults with learning disabilities, talks about what inspires him, his career so far and his hopes for the future.
Since an early age I’ve had an interest in performing – in finding ways of letting people know what’s going on inside my mind. I started writing and performing poetry at about 13 or 14, so expressing my emotions in a theatrical way has always been part of who I am. I used to write about rubbish stuff – about being a gangster and stuff like that. Now I’m a bit more mature! I write about struggles in my own life, about being an outsider, being a misfit. This theme comes up a lot in my work – this idea of a life that doesn’t fit in with the mainstream – though I don’t always approach it in obvious ways. What inspires me is being different, being kind of flamboyant and out of the ordinary, not what people are used to. I think my work is slightly sinister, slightly mysterious. There’s a battle that I want to explore between good and evil, between the popular and glamorous and the gritty and ugly – opposites always battling each other.
There are some people that have inspired me to make art. David Bowie, Ian Dury – they speak about the experience of being an outsider too. I also have a great respect for Mat Fraser – a disabled performance artist and actor. I took some of his workshops while I was studying on the Performance Making Diploma for adults with learning disabilities at Central this year, and I totally relate to him. He helped inspire me to write my graduation performance – The Misfit Analysis – which I’m now hoping to develop further and take to festivals.
After graduating from this very intense course in August I feel excited to make more of my own work now. I’ve just finished a tour with Access All Areas Theatre of the show Eye Queue Hear – a walking audio performance that was born out of the idea of giving the audience an insight into the philosophies and experiences of people with learning disabilities as they walk around their local cities. My next step will be to develop The Misfit Analysis, to put it out into the world and ask people what they think about it, to get some people to read it and give their feedback. Hopefully I’ll do some work-in-progress showings at festivals and then, who knows, maybe Edinburgh Fringe? I always have so many ideas running through my mind – I can’t wait to get them down on paper. I can’t wait to write more!
Cian Binchy is 24 years old. He is a performance poet, writer and actor with autism who has recently graduated with a diploma in Performance Making from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Cian was the acting consultant on autism for The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time (Marianne Elliott), and has workshopped with Simon Stephens and David Baker. He has performed as a poet at the Lyric Hammersmith, The Sekforde Arms and at the Royal Festival Hall Opening Ceremony.
Photo (c) Idil Sukan