An actor with Down Syndrome and a playwright walk into a theatre...

Anvil Centre show on April 7 "questions who in our culture we allow to speak, and who we expect to listen.”

Niall McNeil likes to talk, and Marcus Youssef is one of his favourite people to talk to.

So they’re taking to the stage together in an evening of theatre at Anvil Centre in Niall & Marcus Talk about Sh!t Niall Likes.

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The production, created by McNeil and Youssef with support from the Boca Del Lupo artist residency program, is produced by Neworld Theatre. McNeil and Youssef live around the corner from each other and have known each other since McNeil was 18 years old. McNeil, who has Down syndrome, teaches acting at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation in Burnaby.

“Niall’s got an opinion about pretty much everything, and he’s funny, too,” said a press release. “Niall and Marcus talk about his friends, writing, music, photographs and videos, acting, the grocery store Niall works at, his homemade CSI videos, romance, Beauty and the Beast – all the sh!t Niall likes. It’s a conversation that changes every time they have it. It also questions who in our culture we allow to speak, and who we expect to listen.”

McNeil is a professional actor and Youssef is well-known as a playwright. Together they have written two big shows: Peter Panties (PuSh Festival) and King Arthur’s Night (PuSh Festival, Luminato and the National Arts Centre).

“These groundbreaking productions put the vision of a neurodiverse artist at the centre of their creation, offering audiences a perspective on iconic stories unlike any they have ever seen,” the release said.

It’s onstage at the Anvil Centre Theatre on Tuesday, April 17 at 8 p.m. See www.anvilcentre.com for details. It’s free, but register through www.eventbrite.ca.

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