WELCOME TO OUR GoFundMe PAGE!
‘Living with a Dark Lord’ is a play written, produced and performed by Maeve, Cait and Aisling O’Sullivan - the three sisters of Shaun, who prefers to be known as ‘The Dark Lord’. It’s been this way for over 15 years when Shaun gave up speaking and put on a cloak, and while this has been the norm for them, Shaun’s way of life has fascinated psychiatrists, friends and family members (but not always in a good way.)
Shaun has autism - a life-long neurological developmental disorder which becomes obvious at around three or four years old - and although the cause of autism is still a mystery, the impact it has on a person and their family is clear to see.
The play is set over the course of an evening, when three sisters come together on their brother’s 30th birthday. The sisters swap memories to fill in the gaps of their past and map out how they managed to soften his dark persona and all the times he added variety, hilarity and unexpected wisdom to their lives. As this turning point hits home, they worry about the future and whether darkness really is what the world has in store for their brother - a world only just beginning to make room for difference.
Fictional autistic characters have received an immense amount of interest, but these stories often settle on a caricature, one which fails to reflect the people who aren’t geniuses with calculators in their heads or those who have meaningful relationships and plenty of depth.
THE AMOUNT OF TIMES we’ve been asked the following questions are countless:
‘Oh your brother has autism, is he like Rain Man?’
‘So he’s good at maths?’
’Does he have feelings?’
Or ‘oh, autism, so your brother takes everything literally?’
Questions are great and we encourage people to ask and learn, but a lifetime of these generalisations prove the importance of showing the variety of the autistic spectrum. Also, we think it’s important to add to the conversation from the perspective you don’t usually hear - the siblings.
We’re here on GoFundMe because putting on a play is PRICEY - the venue and registration fee alone comes up to over £1500 so we’ve decided to set our target as that, and hope that our ticket profits will cover other expenses such as accommodation, travel, technical support and marketing. Writing up the budget TERRIFIED us but we’re determined to do everything we can to raise the money and do this play justice - this project is too important to us.
If you need more incentives to give us a helpful push towards our goal, HERE THEY ARE LOOK AT THIS LIST ISN’T IT CONVINCING??
£5 - A Thank You Tweet and ENDLESS LOVE FROM US
£10 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + Your Name in the Programme
£15 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + A Personal Anecdote from the Life of the Dark Lord (One which isn’t mentioned in the play or on any social media!)
£25 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + A Personal Thank you Video from Cait & Shaun
£50 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + a New Name and Official Scroll Posted to You (Signed by Shaun Himself)
£100 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + Maeve, Cait & Aisling will Serenade you with a Song Written Specifically for You with a Verse written by Shaun!
£250 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + Two Free Front Row Tickets + A Bound, Signed Copy of the Script!
£500 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + A Dark Lord Kit (Cloak, Goblet, Eyeliner and Some Surprise Shaun Related Gifts)
£1000 - ALL OF THE ABOVE + We’ll Travel to You and Give a Full Personal Performance of the Play!
Shout out to Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell, London, for choosing us in their residency program - giving us a chance to develop our script and make our dream happen. Thank you!
We also wouldn't be able to do this without the backing of Mighty Pen Theatre, a collective of artists based in London whose passion is new writing and original work.
Thank you to everyone in advance for all your support, and please share this page with your friends and family!
Keep your eyes peeled for updates...
Maeve, Cait and Aisling
- Leah Manning
- Hannah Morpeth
- Lee Stafford
- Nick Arnold
- Patrick Johnston
Newcastle Upon Tyne, North East England, United Kingdom