LETTERS TO MYSELF IS A PLAY WRITTEN BY EVERY DAY PEOPLE.
When did you last sit down to hand write a letter? Sadly, the last time I did was probably on holiday in 2006. And that was only to write my friend a post card.
Yet there’s something so beautiful and raw about putting your feelings down on paper. And this show captures that perfectly by using the words of real people in real situations. Heartbreak to humour and love to hate, real letters are exactly what makes this play so mesmerising.
WRITING THE LETTERS
Writer and Producer, Becci Sharrock, popped up around the country to speak to Joe public. Leeds was firmly on the map as she delivered a ‘pop up’ session at the Central Library and led a workshop with the Spoken Word Society at Leeds University. The Write Back Project also sent letters to their participants.
Becci encouraged over 100 people to take part in the ancient art of letter writing with one simple question. What would you write to your past, present or future selves?
“We’ve offered people the chance to write about anything they want, so some of the letters are dark and painful, others are joyful and celebratory. It’s been so inspiring to read everyone’s stories and experiences. People have been really generous and open with us and that’s a real privilege.”
EXPERIENCING THE LETTERS
All of the submitted letters were skillfully crafted into this dynamic, well paced play. And with the addition of personal stories from performers and audience alike, it proved to have an unexpected twist.
Performers Lauren Hurwood and Luca Rutherford not only relived the emotional letters of others but also revealed their own stories along the way. We heard of their greatest fears and biggest triumphs as well as hardest losses. Their energy was infectious, personalities endearing and their bravery to speak openly was admirable.
The play was also peppered with moments of audience interaction. A series of simple questions challenged the audience to think about themselves. There was even opportunity to expand on your thoughts in what felt like a safe, relaxed forum. And it made me realise, I don’t do that enough. Think about who I am, what I’ve done or how I act.
LEARNING FROM THE LETTERS
In a life as fast and furious as today’s, this play reminded me to slow down and reflect. We can learn a lot by taking our own advice. Even if it takes writing a letter to listen.
LETTERS TO MYSELF IS SOMETHING REALLY QUITE SPECIAL AND AN EXPERIENCE THAT WILL STAY WITH ME FOR A LONG TIME. IT’S LIFE AFFIRMING, POWERFUL AND HONEST. I REALLY HOPE YOU GET CHANCE TO SEE IT.
What would you write to your past, present or future self?
The last performance is at Live Theatre in Newcastle on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th May.