Dominoes interview with Phoebe McIntosh (Lighthouse Poole & Black Theatre Live)

Hi I’m Phoebe, I’m sitting here after the end of my R&D week with Lighthouse Poole We’ve had a great week working on my show ready for its spring tour Dominoes the play I’ve written is
about Leila she’s a young woman and history teacher, who’s about to get
married to a great guy, who conveniently and funnily already has the same surname as her. About a year and a half ago I sat down knowing that I wanted to write
myself a solo show. I’d already been writing composites different
monologues and different kind of experiences I’d had but the time it
started to kind of come together was two catalysts there was a documentary on the
BBC about Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners and it tied into some research
that UCL had been doing which showed that after the abolition of
slavery everyone who was a former slave owner was entitled to compensation for
their loss of a property in the slaves that they no longer had. It went on
to talk about a database that they’d set up whereby you could type in the name of
any former slave owner or indeed descendant and you could see the amount of compensation that they’d received as a payout and I thought this was
shocking and interesting. One of the first things I did was go on that database and just have a play around and
see what stories are in it and then another catalyst was the fact that my
in-laws already had the same surname when they married and I always had that kind of him on the back of my mind and I thought
how wonderful and lovely that they should find each other and my
mother-in-law didn’t have to change her name. So then there was that and then
there was the documentary about surnames and about Scotland and compensation; and I just started writing It was the glue that held together all these monologues about me a mixed-race women and the
background that I have in the background that I wanted to look into a bit more. So having this my mind turned to – I want people to see this. I want to put it on somewhere. So I set about doing that as an independent project but I’d previously had a conversation with Jonathan Kennedy from Black Theatre Live at the start of the writing process I remember Tweeting. How do you write a one-woman show? and he immediately wrote back and said
give me a call and let’s see if I can help. He kindly spent an hour with me on the ‘phone and just told me the process, and how important it was to have a strong script which by that stage I felt
I had. And left it open and said come back when you’ve finished it and; from there I applied to put the show the on at the Wandsworth Fringe and Jonathan kindly offered me some studio space at Tara Arts and
during this time I’d also pitched my play at an event that pairs regional
theatres with London-based Black and Ethnic writers and I just
told the auditorium the bare bones of the show and what it was about. And got speaking to Steven Wrentmore at Lighthouse Poole who was interested
in the idea and followed me through the journey of putting on at Wandsworth Fringe and now I’m here at the end of a week of R&D having
revisited the play, the script and developing it for spring tour This play is
asking Who Am I? It’s asking where do I come from? and what does that mean? Does that mean I am one thing and not another? or am I several things at once? I
called the show Dominoes because the moment you hear the word you have an
image of what that looks like and that’s either something black with white spots
or something white with black spots but actually I want to talk about the grey
area and not being one or the other or maybe being both. Dominoes is about love, falling in love, being in love. It’s about finding out who you are? It’s about your history,, your family history and your ancestry. and what that means to you.

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