Two Thanet performers heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Amy is taking one-woman show The Girl and her Balloon to the festival

A Broadstairs writer and performer will be debuting her new play at this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Amy Wakeman, who is due to move back to her hometown this September, is taking her play The Girl and her Balloon to the Fringe.

The play tackles issues on homelessness, PTSD, and the drug trap that homeless communities face.

The 36-year-old, who premiered her first work eco fable Underground,at the online Edfringe in 2020, has just finished a drama teacher role at the Royal Ballet School in London and is now looking forward to concentrating on her performance and returning to Thanet.

The Girl and her Balloon is born from a poem the former Thanet College student penned some eight years ago.

She said: “I wrote the poem when I was going through a bit of depression. It is about a girl who goes places with the balloon until it starts deflating and she watches it kind of die. The balloon is a symbol of hope.

“I kept thinking about it when I was living in China doing theatre work and teaching drama. I was cycling home and thinking about taking some theatre to the Fringe as a one-woman show and thought I would base it around the poem.

“I have always been interested in people who live on the edge of society. I wanted to create more empathy for homeless people who already have issues when they go on the street but then may end up in the drug trap. They can get very embedded in that as escapism and I wanted to show a more human attitude, not judging or preaching.

“In the play there are a lot of stories based on real-life testimonies that I have collected over the years, even before I started the play. There are stories of being in a squat, of escapism through alcohol and drugs – an easy fix to get away from it all.

“Thanet has a lot of people who are homeless, although it is an issue everywhere, and I want to encourage people to actually look at someone rather than just walk past.”

The play focuses on the girl and her balloon, now living on London’s streets. A care leaver left without support some 20 years ago, she hangs onto her one remaining childhood treasure, an old balloon. Now wearing it as a lucky charm around her neck, she makes a living selling painted balloons to passers-by whilst sharing stories about her experiences of living outside the social ‘system.’

Amy, who was involved in Thanet theatre groups including the Dickens Players and Masque Theatre School before studying at college and then Goldsmith’s university, says she is also hoping to get involved in outreach work when she returns to Thanet.

The Girl and her Balloon, produced under Amy’s  Stick Balloon Theatre company.

Venue: theSpace@ North Bridge – Venue 36

Dates:  5-27 August 2022 (not 14th)

Time:   6:45pm

Ticket prices:   £7.50 / concessions £6.50

Fringe box office: 0131 226 0000 / www.edfrinqe.com

Photo Sarah-Jane Field

 

Another Thanet performer heading to the Edinburgh Fringe is actor Trudi Jackson who takes drag king character Past Riarchy to the festival to mansplain masculinity.

Trudi’s latest creation is strong feminist drag in disguise as a ‘has-been misogynist comedian’ from a bygone era.

Although new to the scene, Pat Riarchy is in the hen house and has been creating quite a stir. At recent pub gigs in Thanet, it has been noted two opposing sides were laughing at the same joke for very different reasons.

Photo Sarah-Jane Field

Trudi is no stranger to writing comedy having written and starred in ‘Longtooth’ at the Edinburgh Fringe 2009.  ‘Pat Riarchy – Mansplained’  is her second one person show, the first ‘Julie’s World’ was as a self-proclaimed influencer with only 84 followers! Julie was a success for BAC/Looping the Loop 2019, POW! Thanet and Making Waves Thanet Festival, it was due to perform at Brighton Festival 2020 but, unfortunately, like many, was cancelled due to covid.

Photo Sarah-Jane Field

Trudi also has acting experience in TV shows Vera; Doctors; Gavin and Stacey and The Bill.  Film work includes The Libertine; Leave to Remain; Hardcore A Mockumentary and has been involved in theatre work in venues including Chichester Festival Theatre; Nuffield Theatre; Southampton; The Old Red Lion; Kings Head 59 East 59 in New York and Theatre 503.

PAT RIARCHY – Mansplained is at the Fringe’s The Omnicentre from  August 8-16

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