Wojtek author pens thought provoking dyslexia play

After showing a real flair for writing with her book on Wojtek the soldier bear, Hutton’s Aileen Orr has turned her focus to the stage with a play about dyslexia.

Aileen, who has had a busy few years promoting her Wojtek book, right around the world is hoping to have her new creation, ‘The Load-bearing Wall’ ready to debut at next year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The plot revolves around two dyslexic brothers who face discrimination from their older siblings and Aileen said although the play has an upbeat ending its designed to make people think and question some of the opinions they may have.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a play for some time now,” she told ‘The Berwickshire’.

“I’d been writing the book the play was based on for a few years when I met Raymond Razinski who adapted ‘Wojtek: The Soldier Bear’ for the stage.

“When I got talking to him I really thought I could make a go of things and it’s all snowballed pretty quickly.”

Aileen’s husband id dyslexic as is her son Alexander, and she said she found Alexander’s school days particularly frustrating as she felt people just didn’t understand his condition.

“I remember him saying to me once that he was ‘wired differently’.

“That’s a great way of putting it; it’s not that dyslexic people can’t read or write; it’s more that they process things in a different manner.

“Some of Alex’s teachers were fantastic but others weren’t tuned in at all.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of dyslexics who said they hated school;,largely because they didn’t like being made to feel different or be around people who don’t understand them.”

Aileen thought the Fringe would be a great place to premiere her play due to its thought provoking nature and the fact so many famous people have dyslexia.

“Richard Branson and Michelle Mone are two perfect examples of people who were told no but then went and achieved their goals on their own.

“Seeing a dyslexic person make a success of themselves is like watching a flower come alive.

“It may take a while for them to reach full bloom but once they’re there it’s fantastic.”