TWO shows celebrating neurodiversity are coming to Pyramid Arts Centre later this year.

ADHD – The Musical, a lively thought-provoking story full of show tunes, will grace the stage in Warrington on Friday, 13 October, just days before the more family-focused Autism and Sea on Tuesday, 24 October.

The productions are completely separate and aimed at different age groups, but both have been added to Pyramid’s new season line-up to raise awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity and to make the venue more of a welcoming space for all.

Most people are ‘neurotypical’, meaning their brain functions in the way society expects. But various studies suggest 15 to 20% of the UK population have some form of ‘neurodivergence’ and their brain processes information differently.

Examples include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia.

Warrington Guardian:

ADHD – The Musical is the brainchild of Dora Colquhoun, a neurodivergent theatremaker and performer based in Liverpool.

With the help of Dolly Parton, Julie Andrews, and Cher, the piece for audiences aged 12 and above, attempts to unpack the feelings of shame and failure commonly felt by those with the world’s most common neurodevelopmental condition.

ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour, according to the NHS. People with ADHD can seem restless, have trouble concentrating, or may act on impulse.

With support from Arts Council England, Dora worked with Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya, a neuroscientist from Goldsmiths University in London, to produce the musical comedy which navigates the highs and lows of being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.

Warrington Guardian: Dora ColquhounDora Colquhoun (Image: Culture Warrington)

The show also explores the differences in which ADHD manifests in men and women, something the medical profession has only recently begun to acknowledge.

Dora said: "It is a really important time to be sharing this work. ADHD and neurodiversity only very recently is prevalent in mainstream society.

“For many years women have been left out of the conversation and research. I hope to provide an honest, eye opening and entertaining account of my experience as a woman with ADHD.

“My aim is to create acceptance, understanding and open up the conversation as to what having ADHD means.

“I do not have any answers, but I have stories, songs and multiple wigs."

Autism and Sea, created by Amy Le Dain, is instead aimed at a different audience – families with children aged five and above.

Warrington Guardian:

A story set under the sea with Finn, Ollie and Astrid on their first day of school, it will reflect on how autism affects each character differently – just like us humans.

The National Autistic Society defines autism as a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

The warm and gentle tale was originally created by Amy as a children’s storybook during lockdown. She drew on her own experiences of autism, although her formal diagnosis came later in life.

Its successful adaptation into a puppetry-based stage play has helped young people better understand the condition. Like ADHD The Musical, the show will touch upon how autism can affect boys and girls differently too.

Autism and Sea is described as an immersive and sensory experience which brings the characters to life.

The performances will also be ‘relaxed’ to make them more accessible for those with autism and other forms of neurodivergence.

Among other allowances that will be made, the house lights will stay on throughout the performance, the volume of the sound effects will be reduced, there will be a touch tour and character introduction prior to the main show and there will be a breakout space in the foyer should anyone need a break.

ADHD The Musical and Autism and Sea will be on stage at Pyramid on Friday, 13 October, and Tuesday, 24 October, respectively. For tickets go to