So it’s the end of Edinburgh
The show had a sold out run
Which means around 2000 people saw it
It’s won 3 awards
So many people have written interesting, compelling reviews
Some of my absolute heroes have seen it and said extraordinary things
And there is a moment each day, when I am bathed in gold, and I feel like I get to spend just a breath, just a moment more of time with my Nan. True Communion.
It’s all been a bit much
I just want to make sure I have properly, properly thanked all the people that helped make the work happen publicly
So I want to thank
First and Foremost before anybody else, Emma Beverley, my producer, and partner in crime. Because I came to her with this idea and she said yes. And has carried the stress of it and the heart of it with as much love, integrity, dedication and care as me, maybe more. So first set of thanks to the first person I even tentatively suggest this to, who comes round and cooks macaroni cheese from scratch when it all gets too much, who has essentially taught herself how to work sustainably and lovingly with someone who can be very, very fragile. I see you, and appreciate everything that you do.
I want to thank Ria Hartley, Msri Day, Jo Bannon and Hannah Silva for that first week in Falmouth, and Lubaina Himid for the time I spent at the Making Histories Visible Archive
I’d like to thank the 200 people that supported our kickstarter, the core of the project – and I want to thank the countless people that shared it and forwarded it, and kept it in people’s line of sight.
I would like to give an extra special thank you to Erica Packington who has been the project’s patron throughout, and without whom, we might not have been able to do Edinburgh this year. I hope that every time that the show has done something good, you have felt like it belonged to you, as one of the team.
Shouts to the Arts Council, obvs!!!!
I would like to thank Mayfest for their stunning care and support of the project – for taking on a ridiculous idea when there was no plan, for giving me as an artist space to get on with it – for flowers and days at the Lido, and for being everything I could have wanted for a partner on this project.
I would like to thank Hayley Reid, for being an Art Warrior with me for the first, ridiculously hard month of that voyage, and for all her support after that also.
I would like to thank Charlotte Cooper for her support throughout the voyage itself – I can’t imagine how we would have coped without her.
I’d like to thank all the people – too many to name – that we connected with in Jamaica and Ghana, who supported the journey and a v. inexperienced traveller in situ.
I’d like to thank Xana, Minette and Nyima, for their patience, for their sound, music, artistry and voices when the project was at it’s very beginnings.
I’d like to thank Matt who did the massages in Bristol, and (the angel) Gabe who did the massages in Edinburgh.
I’d like to thank Clare Duffy and Nadia Fall.
I’d like to thank everybody involved in Yorkshire Festival, and especially thank the class of 8 year olds that came and reviewed that version of the show.
I’d like to thank the National Theatre Studio for six weeks to write and think.
I’d like to thank Maddy and Season for questions and redrafts and books to read and ideas and explaining big words and showing me what dramaturgy is, and in many many ways, helping me to see what my writing could be. For untangling and unlocking my brain.
I’d like to thank Bryony Kimmings and Marcia X for their last read throughs
And my board – Scottee, Martin, Rebecca, Akwugo for holding and guiding us through a project fraught with challenges, seeing the work, bigging it up.
I’d like to thank Hannah Pool and everybody at Africa Utopia and the Southbank Centre.
I’d like to thank The Attenborough Centre, especially Laura Mc Dermott, walking across a field with two bottles of prosecco v late at night.
I’d like to thank the team at Northern Stage for taking a chance on us again – with a special shout out to the volunteers who helped with handing out salt, were out on the streets flyering for the show, and were always joy. Special props to Connor, Hannah and Rob, who bought the show together everyday.
I’d like to thank Sharon and her killer PR team, because I am grumpy and I hate PR, but they are fucking lovely and shit hot. Also big thanks to Deb and Jen ❤
Thank you to everyone involved with the Edinburgh Award and everybody at The Stage
Than you to the Total Theatre Awards
Thank you to everyone involved with the Filipa Braganca Award and everybody at The Scotsman
And thank you to everyone involved with the Amnesty International presence at the festival.
I am so, so humbled and overwhelmed.
Shout out to Mel Purdie, standing in for EmBev at the point in the festival that was hardest.
I’d like to thank Sarah Manning, my v v patient and brilliant literary agent, and Claire Clarke, our General Manager, for whom this year seems to be an ongoing baptism of fire, I hope it will ease up a bit soon…
I’d like to thank Kat Radreva, my designer, for being a magician, for being patient, and clever and kind. For creating three continents on one stage. For A Daughters of the Dust Dress
I’d like to thank Cassie Mitchell for painting colour and tone onto the design, for knowing the chaos it can be to work with me and never missing a beat.
I’d like to thank Tim and Tanuja for creating a soundscape which meant that the words and me didn’t have to do it all, for finding a way to give voice to a feeling I could never have the language for, for creating a rope that I can hold onto and find my way through the show with.
I want to thank Dawn, for taking the work to the next level. For making it so that I understand every single word that I am saying when I step on stage, and for building care into a show that could have broken me long before we got to the fringe. For being gentle and patient as I shambled my way to being a bit more organised, bit more theatre, bit more focused. For her tigger like energy. For a conversation across generations that enriches the work at every step.
I want to thank Louise, our production manager from the very beginning, who has shown us what production managing can be!!!! Who has held such a powder keg of a project together, who always goes above and beyond. Everything is better when she is there.
I want to thank the British Council and everybody that makes the showcase work.
I want to thank all the people with whom I had little, intimate conversations with at times when I was feeling truly broken – Chris Goode and Sue McClaine are the two that come to mind, but there will be more – who helped me think about how I might hold myself together and place care in the work. I want to thank all the audiences in Edinburgh, giving their time to my show out of 4000 that were there, and to critics for finding a little brain space to reflect on it –
But I want to especially thank the POC audiences, specifically the black audiences
Who have sat in those rooms in the minority
And negotiated an audience that is often negotiating things that a lifetime of whiteness has told them that they don’t have to negotiate in that space-
And sometimes they decide that they would rather not.
So it means the space of coming to that show is often not a safer one for you. I see that, and I appreciate it, and I love you for it, fiercely.
I want to thank the Artists and Creatives of colour doing the damn work all year round, who’s support is constant, who’s hustle is second to none.
I want to thank especially Yolanda, Rachael, Paula, Mara, Annie, Adura, Apphia, Julene, Tessa, Krishna, Joyce.
I want to thank people that support with tweets and likes and faves and messages out of the blue, for friends and old acquaintances that came through to see the show. That affirmation is a powerful, bracing thing.
A big shout out to Bridget Minamore to passing the opportunity to write for Exeunt onto me, and Alice for publishing it – if I hadn’t done that bit of venting my head would have blown off.
And finally a big thank you to MY MUMMY AND DADDY AND SISTER
And to the people I text pretty much every day – Emily, Dorrit, Bryony, Scottee, Travers, Issy, Candice, Vic, Maddy, Toni, Demi and Wendy.
I am a lot to carry! And y’all do.
This is not just a big wankfest! I want to make visible the work and the time and the labour and all the people that bring together one person standing on stage talking, that’s all. There is no such thing as a solo show. And I don’t want to miss nobody out!!!!!
ok,goodbye, everyone except for like – the people in the last few bullet points, Dawn and Emma gotta leave me alone for a fortnight now, I want to forget that other humans exist.
Lots of people got in touch following the show to request a reading list of the various…