Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Right To Write

Let's go back to this time last year. Jess and I were sat at a kitchen table in a London flat trying to find a children's story that we could adapt for the stage. It wasn't going very well. We hadn't even touched on how we would fund the show, let alone pay for copyright.
"What if we just have a go at writing our own?" 
And so we did. 'The Three Kingdoms' was written and She Productions was born. We rolled along with this 'Do-It-Yourself' attitude and we are still rolling because who else is going to do it for you? 

Of course, there's a big risk in 'DIY theatre'. You have to learn a lot. Quickly. From stage management skills to marketing strategies, not to mention the actual writing and performing of the piece. Then, after all that hard work and effort, you might have written a load of rubbish anyway. So is it even worth it? 

Yes. Definitely. Absolutely.

I salute anyone who has the balls (metaphorically speaking for us at She Productions) to create their own company and work, in whatever way that might be. The amount of time and effort it takes to 'do-it-yourself' definitely doesn't reward one financially at first, but creatively it is a breath of fresh air. Working in this ridiculously under-funded industry assures that even some of the most talented people have to give up their careers just to be able to live. Might as well live on the breadline doing what you love on your own terms than living on it waiting for the phone to ring and someone else to offer you the opportunity, right?
Or wrong. Of course it's not for everyone. But everyone does have the right.
The right to write. 
The right to play. 
The right to create. 


Friday, 8 April 2016

'It's Different For Girls' so we are doing something about it...

You may think that the ladies of She Productions have mysteriously vanished over the last few weeks. But if you have been in Beverley and listened really carefully you could probably hear the faint sounds of a drum, harmonies forming and a 60's bass-line wafting through the windows of a shed, down at the bottom of a garden.

Last year, She Productions were approached by Andy Pearson, from Ensemble 52 and Heads Up Festival, to discuss a collaborative project inspired by Hull's very own 1960's girlband, Mandy & The Girlfriends. After reading, 'It's Different for Girls', an autobiography written by two of the band's members, Andy went on the search for a company who could take on the story of these girls and turn it into theatre; a story of a group of young women who had decided it was about time to get creative and not let anything stand in their way, even with the fact that the majority of them had never played an instrument before. A fact that also rings true amongst the Shes. The perfect match; and so the journey began...

In October, 5 Shes met 4 members of Mandy & The Girlfriends at the most unforgettable dinner party; 'part of our research'. Almost instantaneously, similarities between individuals in both groups became apparent. Hannah, a She who had previously decided she was going to take a step back from this particular project but came along for the free wine, met Hilary, drummer-cum-comedienne, and her mind was quickly changed as they hit it off over the cheese and crackers.
It was the absence of Mandy at this meeting that really stirred up the roots of the project. Since meeting the ladies, we steered away from using every one of their stories and created a narrative about a fictional girlband, 'Sindy & Girlfriends'.
The last few weeks in the shed has began putting the pieces of this new narrative together, glueing the cracks with a fusion of our own composition and classic 60's tunes. At a time where the demand for celebrating women in theatre is finally on the up, She Productions has set out to follow in the footsteps of these ambitious women who took the entertainment industry into their hands almost 60 years ago. The way of living might have changed since then, but the pressures on young women to fulfill expectations without having the right to truly voice their opinions, is still very apparent in all walks of life.
It IS still different for girls and so we are going to try and do a little something about it...

A little snap from our dinner with 'The Girlfriends'

We are looking to perform a first workshop of this project in October at Kardomah 94, Hull as a part of Heads Up Festival.