My son at five (he's now eight) had echoes of all these traits, and seeing them clustered together strikes a sad chord pitch perfectly. Though as the story progresses, it's clear the boys are a million miles apart, which is a boon for autism awareness; people with autism differ wildly from each other, but the spectrum encompasses some spottable similarities.
I'm not sure how often this bitter old Berkoff actually engages with young actors. I'm not sure how many he works with, (Imagine having to spend a day on set with this old bore) but I'm pretty sure he hasn't had anything to do with any of the graduates I've had the pleasure of working with over the last few years.
All training institutions offer a wide range of skills to their students and I firmly believe that we still offer the best actor training in the world here in Britain. Indeed I believe we train the best actors. I don't believe you can be taught how to act, but I think you can be taught how to be an actor.
These people can be of any age, ethnicity or gender. They always put someone else's needs and welfare before their own, often without recognition or praise. Many have little chance to socialise, which can lead to isolation; and they have an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Who am I talking about? The UK's 'hidden workforce' of unpaid carers.
'Northern Flight' has seldom left my mind since it finished. It provides an emotive exploration of the issues that lie at the heart of the city's identity. Patrick's words to me at the end of our interview have filled my thoughts and followed me through the streets of this beautiful city: "Liverpool is a city that tells you that you can do something, rather than that you can't."