Adult Dyslexia, I Could Be Anyone

I Could Be Anyone

Adapted by Clare Aguis, Lena Scurfield and Matthew Scurfield.

From the book by Matthew Scurfield


I Could Be Anyone, is an autobiographical performance, Matthew Scurfield’s opens with a thought provoking monologue about his experiences growing up in post-war Cambridge as an un-diagnosed dyslexic.

Matthew goes on to share with us strategies he has developed in his profession as an actor, for example, asking his wife to read aloud his script in order for him to memorise his lines. Matthew discovered a confidence and openness around dyslexia among his fellow actors, it was celebrated. This and a friend who recognised his learning difference encouraged Matthew to go for an assessment.

After diagnoses Matthew described having feelings of acceptance, innocence and openness. Having a good teacher that engaged Matthew’s energy enabled him to focus on his strengths.

When the monologue closes the audience are led to believe the performance is over and we are now watching Matthew being interviewed. What follows is both emotive and hypnotic.

During the performance Matthew was repeatedly asked, “What do you think we should do? What makes a good teacher? How can we support you?”

The assumption is that as a dyslexic person he should know the best way for him to learn and should be able to articulate this effectively. This assumption triggers emotions of frustration, embarrassment and a divide between us and them.

“I don’t know!” Matthew shouted.

An argument between Matthew and his interviewer Clare Aguis ensues evoking an awkward and puzzled silence amongst the audience, is this real or part of the act?

The play ends with childhood play fighting, which identifies a young man’s strengths for a successful future in acting.

This performance left the audience with an insight into the dyslexic perspective and a clear message, that by embracing our strengths we can enhance them.

The performance ended with the inspiring short film ‘We Want to Start a Conversation’ by Maltese students with dyslexia. The project was run by the University of Malta and was inspired by Matthew’s Scurfield production ‘It Could Be Anyone’. The film was fittingly to show cased at this years The Festival of Dyslexic culture 2014, ‘A celebration of who we are, through what we create’.