“Days Like These” was written for anyone who was ever 17.
“You see the play is about this woman, this woman looking for a girl… and we’re running out of time….this play it’s not going anywhere, we’re not going anywhere….these characters aren’t going to change, its like they are stuck to the page”
Drawing on the autobiographical memory of performing ‘Susan’ from David Hare’s play Plenty when she was 17, this performance plays out seemingly forever, repeating and reliving the memory of that certain time in everyone’s life, which can be so hard to let go of, over and over again.
This play is about what happens if we can’t let go of the past, eachrepetition of memory becoming an echo of the previous one, each time failing to adequate
ly re-capture that feeling of being 17.
The performance skilfully plays between performative register’s opening with and slipping back into naturalism whilst dipping into and between more contemporary (direct address, performance art, stand up) performance styles. This play is as much about questioning and revealing the modes and registers of theatre as it is about history, memory, loss and grief.
“It left us far less certain but far wiser than when we entered… there were moments of transcendence where we were all lost
in the moment” – audience feedback Jan 2012.
“Days Like These” – Artist’s Documentation
A short clip-show taken from a filmed dress rehearsal of “Days Like These”. from Gemma Alldred on Vimeo
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.
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?