What inspired you to write Taking Liberties? Why this story?
Caroline: I heard this thing once about how we're all only two mistakes away from homelessness and it stuck with me. The more I thought about it the more I had questions. Who's mistakes? Our own or some one else's? What would those mistakes be? And is that true? Are we all only two mistakes from homelessness? Or are some of us born luckier in that we'd need to make more mistakes than just two to truly get to the point of being homeless.
I also wanted to create a vibrant and colourful character who's funny and intelligent. Someone who is both strong, unapologetic and vulnerable. A woman who's as complex as all the women I know in my real life. As an actress those are the most exciting parts to play and there aren't always an abundance of parts like that about so I stocked up on Jaffa Cakes and gave it a go myself. These two things mingled as I wrote the character of Amy and I ended up with Taking Liberties.
What have been some of the highlights in the development of Taking Liberties?
Caroline: The show has been developed over the last year. Some highlights would be Jon Brittain seeing the show at Actor Awareness and offering Dramaturg support for writing the full piece. Being in the Actor Awareness new writing festival and working class season at The Tristan Bates Theatre, They were great opportunities to develop the show and shape it into what it is now.
Any stumbling blocks in the general development of Taking Liberties?
Stephanie: Like anything money. I always loved Caroline's script from the moment I read it and wanted to direct it but was always so busy. When Caroline got offered a slot for the working class season and didn't have a director attached I offered as I really believe in her as a writer and the message behind her story. Very human.
Who are the collaborators on this production?
Caroline: Glass Half Full decided to come on board to produce the play with Steph as director. Jon offering Dramaturgical help with the script. Actor Awareness have been a champion of me and the script since the beginning which has helped immeasurably.
Stephanie: Bread and Roses is a new writing venue and we have seen several shows here that have the ethos we have of making the best fringe theatre around (hopefully.)
Call someone out by name: who should see this production? Be brave!
Stephanie: It's a working class story that has a strong message about social care and family support. Ken Loach would be a fantastic person after his 'I, Daniel Blake'. The story revolves around a down on her luck Amy who is on the dole but can't keep her job but at the end of the day its about the support system that fails her. We are hoping to get Centre Point involved as well.
Caroline: My mum made sure I grew up on a diet of Clocking Off, Playing the Field and Shameless and more recently No Offence (Viv!). I love the characters Paul Abbott's writes so I'd be pretty chuffed if he came to see it.
What do you think the state of British Fringe Theatre is right now, and how does Taking Liberties fit into it? Stephanie: British fringe is ever evolving and is producing some brilliant work, I know some fantastic companies producing work better then I've seen at some big producing houses. Fringe companies being born out of collaboration and artists trying to get things done. I think fringe can really provide the backdrop to some fab artists. Annoyingly theatre is expensive to make so it's about thinking, what am I dong this show for and why. For Glass half Full 'Taking Liberties' is about class, homelessness and social care but isn't a show full of doom and gloom there is a real heart to the character Caroline has created and you are giving a stereotype a face. I think that's important and as a working class creative myself that I want people to see the fully layered humans behind these stereotypes and also that we aren't pushed out of theatre although yet as places like Bread and Roses let us do our thing without vast vast amounts of risks.
What's next Taking Liberties?
We want to get the Bread and Roses theatre under the belt then maybe think about some festivals, Vaults, Edinburgh.
TAKING LIBERTIES runs 28th May - 1st June