Hope all is well. Tomorrow night my dearly beloved solo show The Drowned Girl open in Chapter for 4 nights. Currently i am sat at home after a busy day of Tech and feeling a little emosh because i didn't think this day would ever come. The Drowned Girl for me, more than any other piece I have written is 'my baby' and this is it's journey......
I started working on DG at a tricky time in my creative life. I was offered a chance to go on NTW Summercamp in Angelsey but my full-time job at the local bookies refused to let me have the time off. At that time, I was fed up working in a betting shop and would escape into my world of theatre work on my days off. It was becoming harder to drag myself out of bed to the bookies everyday, especially when i was being pressured by them to climb the ladder and become a manager. Faced with the decision of Summercamp OR my own betting shop on Albany Rd, i decided to quit and give my all to a career in theatre. It was the most scariest and bravest things i've done ever.
Drowned Girl was what i worked on at Summercamp, but back then i tried to avoid that it was really about my relationship to my lovely Nan who had recently passed away and force it to be about Body image. This didn't last long and when I returned from my 2 weeks away, i had a new found motivation and the heart of what was to become the show that you can all come see at Chapter this week.
The next step was sparked by a post on community by Mawgaine. It was an advert, a call for projects from THE YARD Theatre in Hackney. I applied, got rejected and then found out that actually I had got it and myself and Drowned Girl (A show that wasn't made at that point) was about to go on in London for a week run that February.
Myself and Anna have always worked together and on a project so personal i knew that i couldn't work with anyone else. I trust Anna with my life and more importantly with the stories that i was about to put on stage. Together, myself and Anna waded our way through making a personal show but also battled against not just making it about me. The Yard version of the show was quite different to the show is now and after our weeks run we know we had work to do.
We learnt a lot from the show in The Yard but decided we needed an R&D so that I could just be the writer on the project and listen to it. We got the wonderful Matthew Bulgo in as my dramaturge and the incredibly talented Joanne Simpkins in to play me. It was a weird experience and Matt really helped me to look at it subjectively and as a play, something that was missing from the first version. Matt's badass structure skills and dramaturgical support helped me tell the story and explore my new relationship to the show after creating something so raw and soon after my Nan's passing for The Yard.
Since the R&D I created the new script for the show and it feels like it's really come full circle. It has all the best bits from the Yard version and the best bits from the R&D version. I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU ALL TO SEE IT!!!!
Finally, I remember in my application from The Yard i had to describe what it looked like and i wrote about a magic underwater world filled with Cornflakes and Mc Donald's mermaid kingdoms, but had no idea why, so they didn't make it to the Yard version. But today as Tech was over, i stood and looked at the set, space where i'm going to tell my story tomorrow and it's a sea of Cornflakes, a magic underwater mermaid kingdom made from Mcdonalds accompanied by an amazing team with a script that started at just 9 pages long 2 years ago and now is a story that I'm ready to tell.
Thank you to everyone who helped get me there and to my Nan for teaching me that when we feel like we're like drowning we just have to remember that we are all mermaids and eventually we will get there
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