With our creative team we ran writing workshops, movement sessions and explored processes of devising that used the theme of the project to explore our way of making performance work. We encountered a range of people at the workshops – including a retired American academic who had researched the socio-political movements of the time, a local writer of novels, an ex-dancer, local members of The People’s Company – a group attached to The Marlowe Theatre and many more. It was brilliant to share our process of making work and in exchange hear some fascinating stories from that time – during our last session after working we all just sat around and carried on talking for ages about sex communes in London, the Black Panthers, child birth experiences of the sixties, feminism, baby boomers and much more. Here’s some of the things that came up:
Age as a state of mind.
Physical changes in later life.
The pros and cons of the pill.
Blues music developing into Rock and Roll.
And here’s some conversation we captured:
I try to keep it quiet I’m an OAP.
I loved my forties. I won’t tell you why.
I fail to acknowledge my age.
I hate the word pensioner.
Free bus pass. I love it. I use it in London and know the buses really well.
Some twenty-five year olds want to go out with a seventy year old.
When you’re fifty-five, you don’t give a fuck.
I’m gagging for it. But I’d like a man I can gag for it with.
I used to be driven by my monthly cycle.
I think sex is less important as you grow older. Other things are more important. I’m glad I don’t think about or want sex any more. I exercise my brain and do other things.
I don’t know if I’ve gone off sex or my boyfriend was just rubbish.
I think there’s always a light and dark side when it comes to sex.
My mother was born in 1920. Her parents were Victorian. She was staunch Roman Catholic. And we had that to contend with, too.
They got rid of the unfurnished tenancy agreement at the end of the seventies and it changed everything.
I had a Beaver fur coat. I used to sleep in it.
After that time we thanked our workshop participants and greeted our creative team where we spent the remainder of the process coming up with the new show.