where I have been all your life

 

I was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, as so few of us are these days. I hail from four generations of devotion to the oeuvre of musical theatre; my family have spearheaded the Welwyn Thalians Musical & Dramatic Society since 1929.

I moved to London in 2011 to pursue my dreams of moving to London. I studied English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, an experience which purged me of the inclination to get a proper job and threw me into the path of several incredible performance artists and arts organisations. These include, but are not limited to (I didn't keep a record, too busy "living my best self") Bobby Baker and Daily Life Ltd, Hunt & Darton, Figs In Wigs, Sh!t Theatre, Bangla Drama Festival and Peopling the Palace(s) Festival.

Since 2015 I have worked closely with Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw), as assistant, mentee, writer and collaborator, in an evolving relationship which could almost be called career progression. I toured with Lois's solo piece What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old And Having Sex, Peggy's RUFF, and their 'greatest hits' show Retro(per)spective, to venues around the UK and Confrontations Festival in Lublin, Poland. 

I have been helping develop the performance text of their latest work, Unexploded Ordnances since 2016, in residencies at the Barbican (London), La Mama ETC (New York) and Skirball Center (Los Angeles). It premieres at the Barbican in May 2018.

From 2015-2016 I was Resident Writer with producing outfit In Company Collective; copywriting, ghostwriting, writing funding applications (>£200K), tweeting - mainly word-based tasks. I was Lead Writer / Editor  for their Wellcome Trust-funded arts/health project, The Sick of The Fringe in 2015 & 2016. 

In 2017 I also began working with Jenny Hunt and Holly Darton on their next touring project, Radio Local, a hyper-local radio show. They presented a 24-hour durational version at Cambridge Junction's Watch Out Festival. I was the 'Producer' and I was very tired.

My first full-length solo show, I, Amdram, was hewn from a sizeable block of autobiographical stories about my hometown and it's attendant amateur theatre scene. It was initially developed with support from Camden People's Theatre and their Starting Blocks scheme for SPRINT Festival 2017. It returned there as an hour-long show in May 2018, and then popped up as a sentimental addition to the ‘Barn Fringe’ week at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City, September 2018. All being well, it will undergo further development in 2019, leading into a tilt at the Edinburgh Fringe.

My solo performance work has been spasmodic, irreverent, and difficult to ascribe to a defined 'practice', though you're welcome to try. In recent years I've:

  • read a letter from the Queen re: Donald Trump at a variety night in LA

  • officiated weddings for Inflatable Church Events at Creamfields festival

  • hosted a gameshow between living and dead contestants whilst possessed by the spirit of Larry Grayson

  • told stories of the times I've been mistaken for a man, or specifically Macaulay Culkin

  • been an over-eager American tourist in St Helens' town centre

  • recorded a podcast on elections in Liechtenstein, Turkmenistan and the Gambia

  • hosted a variety night in a room above a pub in Woodford.

 

 

Clockwise from top left:

In rehearsal during Starting Blocks at CPT - photo by Alex Lui

In Cambridge 105 recording studio with Jenny & Holly - courtesy of @huntdarton

Peggy Shaw in dress rehearsal for Unexploded Ordnances in LA - photo by Matt Delbridge

Performing excerpt fromI, Amdram at Rosemary Branch Theatre (Photo: @twopaleladies)