On the 1 Jan 2015, I traveled back to Cardiff after spending New Year’s Eve in London. I was full of uncertainty and excitement after winning the Wales Drama Award and decided to write a blog on my website – www.kellyjonestheatre.com – about how I was feeling about the year ahead. I had entered the award with my script TAMMY, which is about how families can shy away from talking about taboo issues; specifically sexuality and how our need for secrecy can tear a family apart. I never imagined that I would win the award and am so thankful for the support from National Theatre Wales, BBC Wales and BBC Writersroom for creating a platform that celebrates Wales based writers, and one that has given me the opportunity to develop my voice and put my work infront of audiences.
But what next? On the first day of the new year, as the train chugged on through Chippenham, Swindon, then Bristol Temple Meads, Newport and finally Cardiff, this consumed my thoughts. Fast-forward eight months and I’m thrilled to be setting up a new theatre company, otherMother. Myself, Anna Poole and Olivia Harris began working together last year and found that we all shared a collective passion for creating theatre that explored unheard voices. As a team we are hungry to make work that really says something about a society that we live in now. The forming of the company happened quite organically and it’s wonderful that there has been so much support for us.
It felt only right that Blud is our first production. It’s a play that has been in my head for a while and the questions it poses really fit with the otherMother manifesto of creating something raw, authentic, collaborative and universal. It explores the idea of powerlessness and survival in a world when power is currency. The idea was triggered by an article I read on female football hooliganism and the camaraderie/tribal nature that comes from being part of a football firm and the need to fight for something. It’s inspired by places once rich in industry but now struggling in the current economic climate areas. This can be said not only of my hometown Dagenham, but parts of Wales too.
We started rehearsals last week and it’s going really well. At the moment we’re exploring the text and peeling off the layers to see the world of the play. We are incredibly excited about the show and the co-production with The Other Room. It’s such a wonderful venue and a vital new venture for Cardiff’s theatre scene. We can’t wait to be part of their Blue Sky season and to share Blud and our creative vision with audiences.
Blud opens at The Other Room at Porter’s on Tuesday 1 September and runs until Saturday 18 September. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.otherroomtheatre.com
Image: George Morton