Dysmortal Life


What do I want to do with it?

This is an autobiographical piece and therefore is consistently evolving.  It is time for the next draft which I will  do by using verbatim and David Hale's comic genius. I need to change the framing and bring it back to it being less of a talk and more...just me. 'Its all about me' as David Hale wrote in the Waiting Room! When we behave as we do with mental illness, it is not always conscious, although it has many moments of dark comedy.  We do what we do to get through the day.  It is also influenced by experiences of being from the baby boomer generation as well as being a feminist tract. 

The show was originally put together in 2012 and performed at the Stratford Fringe. Just as some of my song lyrics came from darker periods in my life - the show was born from personal experiences and deals with themes of loneliness, depression, hedonism, internet dating and dysfunctional relationships. The songs in the show were written when the events in the ‘real’ stories took place - so they provide a darker more honest narrative to the black comedy of the monologues. I worked with David Hale, a writer and friend who wrote the Waiting Room, which was also performed at the Old Jointstock Theatre Birmingham. Helen Gould and I co - wrote the music and performed the songs live at all the venues. Lorna Laidlaw (Coronation St), the director, chose to frame the piece about failed relationships and the hazards of particularly electronic dating, in a ‘lecture’ type format. Lorna always felt that the structure of the show gave an impression of two disconnected stories – so we have changed it and the character steps out of her own lecture and with the audience reflects on her own life – finally accepting her illness, her mistakes and by the end she is hopeful, honest and far more self aware.

It has since been performed at Camden Etcetera London, London Fringe and the Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham after some new direction (Amelia Cardwell, Alison Solomon) and some script add-ons (Delyth Jones and David Hale)

I want to tour the show as I believe it is still a relevant topical piece of theatre.  It travels from Birmingham to London Berlin and back.   I believe the changes have made it a stronger, more authentic piece. It can be performed with or without a piano player and is technically simplistic- mike, props and a power point. It would work as a stand alone performance or as a later evening ‘cabaret’ style format as it features live music and visuals combining to create a cabaret/chanson aesthetic.