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Dear Letters To Myself,

Thank you for having me at Camden People’s Theatre to see your play.

Was it a play? It seems like many things – but multi-platform-genre-challenging-arts-project-open-to-personal-interpretation is both quite a mouthful and sounds a bit wanky. It was a mix of reading and performing; page and participation; set in the past, present and future; a dialogue between actors Lauren and Luca and us in the audience, as well as those from your workshops and website.

The setting at Camden People’s theatre is always small and sparse. You had just a school blackboard, letters, books and some parcels – but that’s fine, as it’s the words that matter here.

Letters are wonderful, to write and receive. It is communication; it’s a form of connection. Between the past and present, dreams and reality, inner and outer – with life. It was nice to hear the local letters, and the ones from your workshops. Each contained specific and personal tones and elements, but with a very common and human thread echoing through them all. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to think you were reading my words – and then discover that wasn’t the case. Someone else seemed to echo my thoughts.

There were many smiles from us in the audience but I would imagine some tears in the poignancy too. Nostalgia and remembrance, warnings and advice, hugs and hope – all seem to be covered. There’s funny quips ‘You don’t marry Keanu Reeves’ and some heartbreaking  ones – ‘Do not move to London…to a place where people do not love you and show it’ says one man.

I loved and hated Lauren and Luca – that hate being more the envy that they surely have it all – vitality, beauty, talent. They are bright and lively performers, but they also displayed vulnerability through their storytelling and revelations. The feeling is one of warmth, and so when you ask us to share, it feels comfortable to do so.

The board becomes filled with scrawls that don’t connect, there can be no algorithm as to the perfect letter for life. But I guess that’s the point. Adult life is messy. It needs accepting – all the shades of grey. We can guide and reassure, but never really get it right. Life just is.

You reminded me of this. Through connection and communication with others and ourselves, there’s always bright spots. It’s the little moments that make a life.

Thank you for the letter writing kit. Let’s keep this going. Enjoy your travels.

Perhaps I’ll hear from you soon?

Francesca x


Letters To Myself is touring:

7.30pm, Tues 4 April – Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford Playhouse

8pm, Thu 6 April – Seven Arts, Leeds

8pm, Fri 7 April – Lincoln Drill Hall

Sun 14 May – Coundon & Leeholme Community Centre [Donation on the door]

7.45pm, Thur 18 May – Upstairs @ The Carriageworks

8pm, Tues 22 & Wed 23 May – Live Theatre, Studio Theatre

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