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Thursday 17 October
Kate Hubert
Kate Hubert Umbilical (Grandma Briant’s War)

Traveling back through my mother-line I explore a dark family secret and its repercussions, which I inherited as the atmosphere of my early life. This is the old, old story of love and control, and men and women – transformed by being brought into the light of day, and, surprisingly, by divine intervention.

Kate is an astrologer with a love of druidry, and the mother of two teenagers. She loves writing and singing, and currently finds herself at one of life’s thresholds. Her show is directed by Agata Krajewska.

Read about Agata: theatreofawakening.co.uk

Amanda Player
Amanda Player Dancing on the Edge

I am born in the dark and the space around is without barriers. I am alone, no container
Completely free but needing support so I build walls.
The first wall is of air thickened with fear, the second of glass, clear and all seeing.

Over time the fear softens, and more of life can be included
The glass shatters one day and reforms in sunsets
I can walk into the day, into the night

But my hands are still pulling backwards until one day on Golden Cap
I am moving and feeling the bonds loosen, the constraints easing,
I am dancing on the edge.

≈ ≈ ≈

I come from women and men who mingled their bloods across time, oceans and religions, from the Spanish adventurer to the English farmer, from the famine fields of Ireland to sun blessed New Mexico, from the love between the Quaker and the Catholic, and the Celt with the Gaelic.

At 17 I am standing the on the hill behind the house where I was born asking “What next?” And again at 30 and at 49 but now the house is gone, the pistol has been taken from the drawer and the wedding dress from the cupboard. All I have is the silken nightdress found in a chest to which is pinned a note: “This is the nightie I wore for the birth of each of my seven children.” I am the middle child.

Friday 18 October
Emily Faircloth
Emily Faircloth Hamlet … Or Is It?

Emily last featured in the festival in 2015 with an exploration of the universal conflict of outward presentation to the world and the conversation within. The backdrop was her experiences as a forensic radiographer in London and Bosnia, and a random meeting at the side of the road which changed her life.

Emily returns to Drop the Story with another exploration: this time, a study of Hamlet … or is it? As a young convent school girl, finding herself in the audience of Shakespeare’s play, she was taken in by the Danish Prince. She says: “To say it took my breath away is an understatement: ‘To be or not to be’ — is that really the question? To what and to whom does it relate?”

She was determined to find out, and the story that wanted to be unfolded was one she had no intention of ever telling.

Mark Bedford
Mark Bedford Warming the Stone Child

Mark is a professional storyteller who has performed extensively in the UK and internationally. He holds an MA in Theatre Practice from the University of Exeter.

Warming the Stone Child is an exploration of the theme of abandonment and of reclaiming the inner child, who is often surrounded in grief and yet is also the source of intimacy, spontaneity and joy. A weaving of autobiography and myth, stories old and new.

Saturday 19 October
Claire Jones
Claire Jones The Girl in the Mirror

After showing her first solo performance Rigger at Stories for Change festival, Claire returns with The Girl in the Mirror. This is a tribute to all the stories we tell and don’t tell, and how they become the mirrors of our shared humanity. Tender and universal.

Holly Tiffen
Holly Tiffen I Have Been Created

Holly explores themes around what it is to belong and to be accepted. Expect yourself to squirm in your seat and aspects of your psyche to be challenged as Holly takes a stark look at some of the insanity in our culture, much that is deeply accepted and often goes unquestioned.

Suzy Williamson
Suzy Williamson Weaver Woman

Once I knew. Purpose, clarity and forceful endeavour were my hallmarks. Success, respect and connection were my rewards. But now? Five years on from dropping the last of my old identity, how am I faring in my ambition to stand naked in the world? What is demanding to be heard and will I hear? … listen? … heed?

Public Notice: No actual nudity is expected in this performance at the time of going to press.
Parental Guidance: This show may may not be suitable for 16 and under.

Suzy Williamson was a professional environmental consultant and green activist for 20 years and now works with the elderly and as a wellbeing coordinator for people over 50 living with long term health conditions. She is a trained clown, untrained mother and wife. This is her third solo performance piece for Drop The Story.

Sunday 20 October
Amanda Bellamy
Amanda Bellamy Being Brave

Being brave means facing my fears. Fears that may be being driven from deep early childhood habits. I look at my early childhood to try to unravel these habits. From my birth in Africa … to boarding school survivor … to eventually finding the love of my mother by seeing the world through a new lens, I discover that bravery is just me growing up.

≈ ≈ ≈

Amanda was born in Kenya, Africa, in the 1960s in the middle of a tea estate in the middle of the night. Here she was home educated before attending boarding school at nine years old.

She has lived in Devon for the past 33 years and loves the outdoor life of wild swimming and walks it offers. She has two adult daughters who she home educated before teaching them at Park School, an alternative primary school on the beautiful Dartington Hall Estate, where she has worked for the last 15 years.

During the past decade she has been leading the school but has put into practice what she has always felt that life is about — doing what you love and are passionate about — and has gone back into the classroom as deputy head.

She has not performed on stage since she was 10, when a teacher told her that she might need to be replaced if she didn’t improve immediately, which made her freeze, stumble and fail.

#triumph to get this far!

Mo Cohen
Mo Cohen Sign of the Times

I come from refugees, exiles and immigrants.
My roots are in the high mountains of Romania and the forgotten villages of Poland,
And deep beside sacred hills and golden temples.
I come from long lines of mystics, rabbis, political agitators, protestors, demonstrators,
Fighters for justice and freedom for all.
I come from men who were tailors and innkeepers,
And women who drove heavy trucks fighting for their country.
I am a child of the 60s flower power and love.
I come from surviving two wars.

And now at 70, in these troubling times, I ask myself: “Where do I belong?”

My performance this year at the festival asks:

In the light of my story,
What are the signs of the times?
How do I respond to them?
What am I called to do?
What are we all called to do?

Mo is co-founder of Drop the Story Festival. He is currently undertaking a PhD research project into the transformative potential of writing, devising and performing a one-person autobiographical show, live on stage and in public.

Read more about Mo: www.interbe.co.uk/about-interbe/

Festival closing and reflection; meet the performers and directors
This is a provisional programme and details may change at short notice. Please join the mailing list if you would like to be kept updated.

Times

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, doors and bar open at 7.00pm. Performances start at 7.30pm and end around 10.00pm–10.30pm.

On Sunday, doors open at 1.30pm. Performances start at 2.00pm and end around 4.00pm–4.30pm.

Accessibility

Ashburton Arts Centre has flat access from the street. PA tickets are available on request. Wheelchair users are requested to email boxoffice@ashburtonarts.org.uk in advance if possible.

Tickets

Option 1 Book your tickets now at WeGotTickets.

Option 2 Tickets can be reserved and paid for in cash on the day of the show by emailing boxoffice@ashburtonarts.org.uk.
Option 3 Buy your tickets in person at Rafikis Café or Ashburton Information Centre.
Option 4 Any remaining tickets will be available on the door on a first come, first served basis.
Tickets are £10 or £8 or £5. One ticket for all four days is £25 or £18. You are free to choose how much you want to pay.

Venue location and maps

Ashburton Arts Centre, 15 West Street, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7DT, United Kingdom

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