John Clarke's To The Dam
Appears at the 24:7 Theatre Festival in July 2014
Why did you write a play with a single female character?
I wanted to write a play about a woman, but not like other plays I had seen. This character is at face value maybe quite normal and ordinary, but also quite complex and I think lots of people feel like that. I was moved by someone who told me that as an older woman they felt invisible. I don't think fringe theatre needs to be only about young people, there's space for an older character too.
How would describe the main character?
To The Dam has an elusive character called Lisa. She's vulnerable but strong too. Her voice wouldn't leave me alone. I wrote the play last year and have been collaborating with Jo, asking her advice from an actor's and a woman's perspective. I don't feel uncomfortable as a man writing a woman character, but I do feel uncomfortable about how women are portrayed on stage sometimes, even by women, and I wanted to do something different.
I was also really troubled by an older woman saying to me that they felt invisible. That was so sad. So Lisa is outwardly an ordinary 40-something but her life has its tragedy, dark humour and some silly comedy too when you look closer. I think lots of people feel this way, men and women. Rehearsals are underway and we're still trying to catch her, still trying to work out if she will be free. It might just be up to the audience to decide
Set in the present-day Todmorden, it charts one women's journey of self-discovery up to Gaddings Dam. The audience are transported back in time to different locations and times in her life but also to her present and to the questions she now needs to answer.
The play stars local actress Jo Gerard who has recently had a role in Victoria Woods' film 'Tubby and Enid'. The team are rehearsing in Todmorden in preparation for the shows in July.
Creative Agent Potsuki caught up with John Clarke to find out more about the upcoming play.
Jo Gerard - rehearsing at Gaddings Dam
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Read more about To The Dam in John Clarke's interview with the 24:7 Theatre Festival Team