Category Archives: Writing

Sex and the Studio

Couldn’t resist that title as it flowed off my finger tips onto the screen… no delete button for that instant outpouring.

I’ve been in the studio re-membering Underwear as part of my current research which I’m calling ‘Make again. Make new.’ Its been an interesting few hours and it was good to get started, starting is hard and looking back feels hard to do as well…. but as I noted in my journal, process is messy and hard and difficult, these are the signs that it is a process and so it’s necessary otherwise something may well be wrong.. best not worry and just accept mistakes will be made.

Thinking of archive and archaeology, wondering what a museum exhibition of Underwear would look like, can I dig back past the layers of time and re-present for us to explore then, now.

where to now?

It’s August.

I promised myself July off, which I did to some extent. I performed in a children’s theatre piece at a festival near Birmingham. Does that count as working?

I keep thinking about trains. About trains and suicide. About the ripple effect of the attempt to end a life that results in delayed trains. The end of one life, ‘the incident’, results in a thousand others missing connections, returning home late, not reaching that interview.

I keep thinking about what happens when you leave the luggage on a platform and get on a train. Where do you go when you’re ready to move on?

I keep thinking that I’d like to blow the dust off ‘underwear’ and re-discover what it meant and might mean now – would you like to watch?

Play Me

In this room, with us tonight is a lady.
And that lady is a child.
This child becomes a lady.
This young girl becomes a lady.
But not on her own.
She needs your help to make this transition.
She is asking for your help.
More than that she’s begging, begging for your help to turn her from a child, from a young girl into a lady.

No. No she’s not. She is not asking for your help.
You don’t realise it but she’s not asking for your help.
The young girl never asks for your help but you do it anyway.
You never asked. You just assumed and did it anyway. Based on what you thought, you knew, you assumed the young girl was a lady.

No-one blames you.
No-one’s blaming anyone.
But I want you to know that it’s your fault.

I blame you. I could blame myself but I don’t. I blame you. Well it’s better than blaming myself isn’t it?

This isn’t my fault.
You left me out.
This is your fault.
You left me out.

The Lady Text, Gemma Alldred, 2010

Play Me: A Collaborative evening of Performance

Out of Character: Homespun


Directed by Gemma Alldred
May 2011: Create 11, York St. John University

Homespun was a performance on the theme of ‘home’, and was a collaboration between Out of Character and the Converge students from the Working Towards Performance course.

More information and performance photos can be found on the blog that was created during the process:


A Nice Cup of Tea

Let Me Solve Your Problems,

Let Me Make You a Cup of Tea.

Tea the great soother. Tea the great problem solver.

A Nice Cup of Tea was written, devised and performed in 2008.

Installation and performance

In response to needing to make it better, without really knowing what is wrong the smiling host will make tea and tell you lots of things you never knew before about tea, of course she’s really telling you lots of things about oppression and about wanting to break free… once she’s sorted all the mess out, all your mess out, that is.

“I’m quite sure India never asked to be colonised. In fact I’m sure she didn’t even realise it was happening until it was too late, bit by bit she made concession after concession until she had no strength left with which to fight back and then she became part of it, colluding with her oppressors until she was almost convinced that it was the best thing.
Then one day she realised that life couldn’t carry on this way, that her people couldn’t keep living under rule and that India wanted its self back.

And so it is that some things can make me really angry. IMG_0145Really really angry and maybe even really really upset. I don’t know for sure you see because the question how do I feel?  is more like How, do, I feel? Its a difficult one because I don’t really have time for emotions, no they get in the way you see I’m far too busy sorting everything else out and trying to make other people happy and well if I sat down and thought about it, about how I feel then I’m not sure when the feeling might ever stop.
But I am angry, I am so angry, so very angry that I’m afraid what might happen if I let it all out. And I’d like to throw something and break things and just exhaust myself with destruction but I wouldn’t gain anything, no in fact all I’d have to do is tidy it all back up again. I’d have to fix it all. And there’s so much mess and there’s only me who can sort it out. I have to clean up all this mess and once I’ve sorted out everyone else, once I’ve solved everyone else’s problems then maybe I’ll be okay. If I just make everything better, maybe then I’ll be better.” – performance text

A Nice Cup of Tea, Gemma Alldred, 2008


I am a woman. I am a girl. I am whatever you want me to be. I am submissive. I am a dominatrix. I am a nymphomaniac. I am frigid. I am a lover. I am a friend. I am a fuck. I am the girl you lost your virginity to. I am dirty. I am pure. I am a shaven haven. I am yours. I am everyone’s to touch. I am sex. I am sexy. I am the girl you hate. I am beautiful. I am fucking gorgeous. I am the person I hate. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a potential mother. I am stupid. I am a bitch. I am femme fatale. I am Mrs Robinson. I am just a wet cunt. I am a lesbian. I am bi-sexual. I am try-sexual. I am weak. I am the lesser sex. I am the one who gets fucked. I am the one who gets raped. I am one who just lies there. I am the one without the power. I am intelligent. I am funny. I am serious. I am a child. I am passionate. I am angry. I am the one who’s given you the best sex you’ve ever had. I am ‘amazing’. I am ‘brilliant’. I am a ‘fucking diamond’. I am a slag. I am a whore. I am ‘the one that Jamie fucked’, when really it was the other way around. I am silenced. I am insignificant. I am a flirt. I am a prick tease. I am loved. I am in love. I am out of love. I am merely a reproductive function. I am my womb. I am frustrated. I am ignored. I am my mother. I am a woman. I am a girl.

Underwear, Gemma Alldred, 2006