Wed, 5 October 2016
My guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview is a lady with a fascinating story of personal acceptance, and battling other peoples personal perceptions of her.
She is a Manchester born, award winning playwright, director, who is driven to get her words onto the page to provoke thought, view point, and change.
Her plays capture the unspoken complexities of human relationships – the things we say, the things we hide, the secrets that shape us – in a way that few contemporary dramatists manage. Immensely subtle and beautifully observed, her work gives voice to unforgettable characters and leaves us mysteriously changed.
Now growing up as mixed-race teenager in Moss Side, Manchester in the seventies was quite an experience.
If you dont know the reputation of Moss Side, then it would be fair to say that it is known as a tough, working class environment, with back in the seventies, very few opportunities to grow into a person different from your peers.
But our guest had other ideas, and was determined to break free and do as we say something different.
But the fascinating moment, or should we call it a Big dot moment seems to me to be the realisation that it was good to be different.
It was ok to say “I am what I am” and I am happy to be different.
As she says “Because my dad came from the hills in Jamaica – a proper country guy. It makes me really proud that my dad came here as an immigrant, my mum came from Ireland as an immigrant, and in one generation they made a playwright, and next they made an actress. So I feel historically wonderful!
So was this reinvention of themselves, the inspiration for her to create a bigger and bolder version of herself?
As in 1999, when before our guest hadn’t written a play before, she took the North West Playwrights’ course and won the 2001 Alfred Fagon Award for her The Well, followed by an attachment at the National Theatre Studio in 2002.
Or was, the big dot moment when in rehearsal for a play she stood up to her director and said “‘You ask the secondary white actors what they think — you tell the main character, black actors what to think. bu never me” receiving the response “You are barred and if you try to come back in the police will remove you.’ ?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Linda Brogan.