With Volume 5 of VOICES FROM HOME now running as part of Brighton Fringe 2021, we chat to our wonderful writers to find out more about them and their creative process.
How would you describe your writing in 3 words?
Nostalgic, Dark, (hopefully) Fiery.
Who or what are your biggest writing influences?
Memories! Thinking about times growing up and the kids we were is where I get a lot of my influences. But, if I was gonna give the pretentious, proper answer that you’re meant to give, I’d definitely say a lot of my inspiration comes from poets like Inua Ellams, Wendy Cope and Wayne-Holloway Smith alongside playwrights like Roy Williams, Beckett, Alice Birch and Anna Jordan. And art! I take a lot from art too if I had to be honest.
What should a tourist see and do in your home county/town?
Very good question. There isn’t much to shout about in Bordon (my hometown), so I’d say get a bus up to Birdworld. It’s exactly what it sounds like, does it exactly what it says on the tin. Just go see loads of birds, then pop over to Forest Lodge next door for a tea/coffee/other beverage and a bun. All that birdwatching will get you an appetite for
What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever received?
Every story is about survival, it’s just about which survival story you’re telling. That really chimed with me writing wise and influences a lot of what I write about now. That, and never double dunk a biscuit. You’ll just end up with a sad bottomed mug and half a custard cream.
Can you tell us a bit about your play for Voices From Home?
These Things That Burn is a one-character story following a woman on New Years’ Eve preparing to reveal a huge secret from her childhood to her family, which could disrupt life as they know it. It explores memories, the way we remember things and the grudges we hold, as well as sibling relationships at their darkest depths. I wrote it in response to Cornelia Parker’s artwork ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’ which is a wonderful visual art piece which focusses on a shed in-motion of being blown up. I was proper fascinated by this idea of that moment when things suddenly erupt from the confines of where they were once buried, and what the fallout is after that. Can things ever go back to being how they once were?
What would you like audiences to take away from Voices from Home and your play in particular?
Be honest with your family and to talk to them. I think there’s a habit at this age, particularly early-to-mid-twenties to focus so much on being an individual, and living for yourself, but family is so very important. In particular, the protagonist in my play has built up this courage to tell this story, and it’s been festering away, nibbling at her for years. Don’t let that happen. Don’t be a Char! I hope that any audience member listening can let themselves be totally engulfed in the story, just for the 10 minutes. It’s important to lose yourself for a bit, particularly now with the year we’ve had, and I hope These Things That Burn can provide you with the bit of respite you might need, and that you find something in it that is totally unique to you. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it, mainly.