In the sunshine of last weekend we gathered together with friends and colleagues to see Laughing Boy, the very tragic story based on Sara Ryan’s personal experience and brought to the stage by Stephen Unwin.

After the play people were expressing a range of emotions…spoken and unspoken. Tears, silence, anger and more. So we went for a drink to mull things over together. All agreed they wanted to share some of these thoughts and emotions with the world.

‘Laughing boy…It shows the injustice and overall negligence that is still tucked away and is not confronted head-on. And no-one…NO-ONE…EVER, EVER should have to experience that. Mazel tov to Sara for having the courage to write the book and have that turned into a play. Everyone go and see this powerful play!’
Leon Jordan, Self-Advocate

‘I felt the play was very powerful and moving and very tearful … and it shouldn’t have happened, and people need to be aware of it and everything, so if anyone hears or sees this, please try and book and see the play Laughing Boy.’
Michelle McDermott, Self-Advocate

‘The play was really moving, and I would just like to say to Sara Ryan that I hope that you are okay, and the rest of the family are okay. Sara you are a good Mum! We all say hello and send big hugs as well.’
Sarah Cookson, Self-Advocate

‘I found it incredible how many mistakes were made in the life of Connor…you know he wasn’t properly assessed, and it really opened my eyes to all the tragedies that led to the loss of life…and how sad it was that so many mistakes were made. No one would take responsibility. Everyone was trying to pass it on to someone else.’
Mark Atkinson, Self-Advocate

‘I thought it was very powerful. Good that Sara Ryan was able to tell Connor’s story and to lead to this day. I think lots of people will be able to realise, get to understand what really does happen to people with learning disabilities and autism if they end up in one of those units. It’s disgraceful really what can happen. Hopefully things will change now. Hopefully this play will help change people’s point of view.’
Richard Keagan-Bull, Self-Advocate

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(Photo taken at the play at Jermyn Street Theatre.)

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