Friday, 4 February 2011


Issue: I have a big idea but I don’t feel “big” enough to make it happen…

Convener(s): Jennifer Lunn

Participants: Lindesay Mace, Keely Elis, Sue Frumin, Francesca H, Angela Clerkin, Chris Grady, Shakera Louise Ahad, Vanessa Smith, Ellan Parry, Peta Cooke, Sam Hoyle, Stella Duffy and others…

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
I have a big idea… it goes a bit like this…

3 plays came my way. A new Norwegian play by a friend of mine which we had translated into English with help from the Norwegian Writers Guild, a short ten-minute play by a new writer which I am directing as part of a platform of new work and a play by Rebecca Prichard which was part of the Clean Break season “Charged” at the Soho.

All three plays look at sex trafficking or abduction of women.

There is also the material for an exhibition of photographs and interviews of Moldovan women who have been “rescued”.

The big idea is to create a theatre event/experience in a large space (somewhere like the old Arcola) where the three plays are performed over the evening, the exhibition is displayed and there is a chorus of women who are “the displaced and disenfranchised” and exist in the space perhaps having moments here and there, guiding the audience from space to space and performance to performance and also directing them to bits of the exhibition.

The problem is… I don’t know where to start and I don’t feel “big” enough for it… by which I mean I don’t feel I have enough of a name to get people attached and make it happen… I need some help…

Wonderful people came and gave me wonderful advice as follows…

Stella spoke about the birth of the chaosbaby project here last year and said
“Every time I ask someone for help – they say yes.”

Someone else said “I don’t feel patient enough for my big idea…” What if it takes years – can I keep up the momentum.

“If you build it they will come.” Keep putting it out there and people will strat getting involved or send people your way.

“Invite “bigwigs” to other stuff you’re doing and have a pack of info about your projects… interacting with someone at a piece of work is easier and shows that you’re doing it.

Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

What would make us feel “big enough”????? People knowing who we were when we phoned them up!!?? Can we just step up and be the people we want to be??

You need cheerleaders and sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader.

Focus on the things you don’t know so much about first and come back to the big creative idea once you’ve figured the tricky bits out. Think about the event management for a bit as a job. Think about how you would manage the event for someone else and do it that way. Invent a persona – pretend to be your own agent and then you don’t have to be “big” enough.

Get other people on board…

Amnesty International
Julie Bindel (Emma Humphries prize)
Ice and Fire Theatre Co.
The NIA project
The Womens Playhouse Trust (does it still have a space? Wapping?)

Do a charity night. With a reading of the play with big names. Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman.

Come the end of the session we have a list of emails of people who are interested in the project. Vanessa Smith who is interested in doing some Assistant producing has offered to volunteer some time to work through some plans, Stella Duffy has emailed Julie Bindel to put me in touch with her…

I may not feel “big” enough but together we are MASSIVE!!

If people are interested please contact me on

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