Once again another excellent evening at Colchester Arts Centre in their Wonderful Wednesdays Season.

Pay what you can afford and take a risk on something edgy and unexpected.

And here was an absolute gem, Sometimes I Leave, created and performed by Vijay Patel.

What marked this one out is that performance artist Vijay has high functioning Asperger’s, and has been living with the diagnosis since 2000. Vijay lives with many aspects of the condition that make routine tasks that we take for granted difficult.

People with Asperger’s see the world differently, and suffer with anxiety, everyday social communication, stress and sudden changes in planned and structured events can cause a meltdown. Having worked with families of autistic children when creating my play Living with Luke, I have long been aware that autism and Asperger’s are not universal, every individual experiences their Asperger’s individually. Although there are common symptoms, every person experiences the condition in their individual way.

The extraordinary thing about Patel’s work is that he shares his unique view of the world so powerfully and honestly. I don’t feel, because of privacy issues, that I can discuss in any detail in a public forum the content of the show too deeply. Suffice to say that, as the title suggests, sometimes, when faced with great anxiety, he leaves, and we were all aware that could happen. But what we got was a powerfully structured show, including skipping, voice over’s from Vijay’s doctor explaining each event, a fantastic music score and superb honesty.

I particularly loved the last section, with a pounding score and a superb projection - shown throughout the piece, of what his Asperger’s feels and looks like to Patel. In fact, what makes this show so special and inspiring is that Vijay Patel makes his Asperger’s visible, and it’s so wonderful that his creativity allows him to do that, sometimes against great odds.