Our Place In The World (Not theirs)
I want writers and directors to be held to account for their bullshit representations of different communites around the world. I'm so tired of seeing "the North" held up to be a bastion of poverty and depridation where the only solution is to escape it. I've promised myself I won't shame other writers but if you think this applies to you... sort it out. There's more to the (vastly variable make up) of the Northern Towns than poverty, theft, teenage pregnancy, and getting fucked to escape the unbearable burden of being northern. Sure those things probably exist but they probably exist in London as well. So why focus on them? Why tell those Northern stories?
What I'm really proud about All We Ever Wanted... Was that we avoided that stereotype and told an archiac story that happened to be to true to Hull. The result was that a load of people came in and saw their own lives in the story. And saw Hull. And people from Hull saw themselves. They saw themselves in the theatre. They felt that, for once, theatre might give a fuck about them. They felt that theatre might, for once, not be looking down on them, might be not fetishing them. That it wasn't like the school trips they went on. They felt that theatre was something they could do that was about the way they lived their lives.
It was also affordable and accessible. In Hull ticket prices were low and we did relaxed performances and signed performances. We had bands play during and after the show followed up a club night.
I'm so fucking proud of it because it's truly accessible and ANYONE could get in and hopefully see themselves in it and see their place as part of a bigger picture.
In the theatre we want to see our own humanity and our own place in the global system. We don't want to fetishise The North, or Estates, or Africa, or Russia.... It's not about alienating the other it's about including us all. Seeing ourselves in worlds we don't live in and our place in that argument. I'm really proud of it and just wanted to mention it because it's a big lesson I learned.