I think it's good to meet a family under pressure, you get to see who they really are, how they operate, like joining a kitchen and being asked to chop because they heard you can and they need all hands on deck because they are making something really good. I joined the Hull Truck team at a busy time of the year, with the biggest programme in the history of the theatre carefully being crafted ready to share to the world for the 2017 January - August Season. But before that all kicks off, Christmas started early with the reading of Treasure Island, this year's Christmas show, which everyone who works within the theatre can attend. The Actors and creative team did their thing on the first day of rehearsals and before we know it will be the opening of the show.
Pressure is of course relative; you can forget yourself and get caught up in the whirlwind created. You can either build a mountain of mince pies or mole hills, it's up to you. Time of course can be used to both ease or create pressure, well actually it's our relationship with time that can make the world of difference. I don't take time for granted, I have the greatest respect for it, I'm not going to lie sometimes I'm impatient with it, especially if it feels like time keeps showing me the same page and I'm stuck in a time loop and the same questions keep getting asked with no time left to even attempt to answer with action.
So to head any questions off at the pass;
I know that there are many many talented people who come from a wide range of backgrounds who have not had the opportunity to contribute and shine in the theatre industry because of constructed barriers (conscious or not), racism is one such construct. Anyone assuming lack of talent, sense, reason, history or purpose because of skin colour is pushing or supporting a racist agenda. I am a Black female theatre director born in South East London to Jamaican parents married to a Lancashire Lad, together we live in Yorkshire and have raised two young men. I have chosen to make understanding our collective world my life's work. Because of this I know what marginalisation feels like and what intersectionality is.
The questions we ask of theatre are the same questions we are asking of our country and ourselves. Everything is connected. Questions like...what are the barriers in the U.K to leading a successful life and what are we doing about that? How can we gather together and build momentum towards a better future? What are we going to do about leadership?
This is of course my not too subtle way of talking about change. I'm not just talking about Hull Truck Theatre of course who have taken the responsibility of moving forward with action for change towards inclusion and access for everyone. I'm not even just talking about Hull City itself on the brink of inviting the world round for a celebration of the City of Culture 2017. I'm talking about our nation and our world. Wherever you are, we are a part of an ecology that is either failing or gaining for reasons we are beginning to acknowledge. We have had quite a year. Time feels more precious now than ever before. I don't like to waste time or have mine wasted. It's the difference between counting down the days and making everyday count. There is so much you can do with it and learn from given time and given the opportunity. So for now from an honest place with no apology I'm chopping away, loving the buzz, meeting the people, taking it all in, enjoying, supporting and learning in order to strive forward in a better way. It's time.