What is the show?
A one woman comedy written and performed by me - Emma Jerrold - following a first time mother's struggle through the early days of motherhood, observing how she presents herself in public and what happens when she collapses behind closed doors. I will tackle the often hidden condition of Post Natal Depression (PND), the unspoken feelings of despair and isolation, social pressures and 'expected happiness’ from well meaning choruses that this should be ‘the best time of your life’.
I will be previewing in London and opening at the Edinburgh Festival this summer.
To quote Oscar Wilde 'If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you'. It will be funny, I promise. Comedy is at the core of everything I do. Oh and there'll be songs!
Oo, I like a good song. But is there a serious side?
There is. There are all shades of depression, there's loneliness, there's pressure. I want to normalise those feelings of despair and encourage the sharing of difficult experiences, I want to reassure people they are not alone, and for those who want it, I want to point them in the direction of help. I want to give an honest account and in the process make you throw-ya-head-back and laugh. The idea of suddenly becoming Mother Earth and effortlessly wafting about, babe in arm, is a load of old nonsense. None of us have a clue what we're doing. Let's talk about that.
Is it only directed at mothers then?
Put your hand up if you've ever secretly hated something you're supposed to love. And looked around to see everyone else enjoying themselves. This is for anyone who's felt that isolation on whatever level. Man, woman, hamster (do they really like that plastic wheel?). We’ve all been there.
So, what do you want from this?
I want people to leave my show courageous and ready to support someone they know or indeed themselves. I will be working with parenting and PND charities/organisations to create appropriate opportunities for people to get help and use social media to encourage people to share their experiences of this underrepresented issue.
I am going to be busy.
Gratitude and the money bit
I would be enormously grateful for your investment. You will not only be helping towards the epic costs of putting on a show, but simultaneously investing in a new voice; one that'll endeavour to help other voices be heard. Sort of like a revolution. Join me.
Please note: Full budget breakdown is available to all level funders. I have worked with an experienced producer to ensure budget is realistic. Where appropriate I have sought multiple quotes for services. This is very much a conservative fringe budget, the vast majority being allocated to marketing and developing audiences, whilst ensuring accessibility (BSL Interpreter) and reach. I will only get paid a small fee if the show sells. This really isn't about the money.
About me, the performer - Emma Jerrold (that's me there - hello! - the one just asking to be tickled)
I have worked for nearly 20 years as an actor. My CV highlights - television and film credits include episodes of Bad Girls and Eastenders as well as the Martin Campbell film The Foreigner. Theatre credits include Macbeth and Emil and the Detectives - National Theatre, Comedy of Errors - The Globe, Far from the Madding Crowd - The Watermill, Persuasion - Salisbury Playhouse, Accolade and Moliere - Finborough. I was invited to join the Curtis Brown Agency as a comedy writer and now have pieces of work in development. I'm going to combine my skills - comedy, music, performing - along with my personal experiences - struggling with motherhood - to create my debut one woman show.
About the director - Blanche McIntyre
Blanche is a multi-award winning Theatre Director. To say I am thrilled that she is turning her expert hand to my show, is an understatement. She is currently Associate Director at The Nuffield Theatre. Her awards include: best director at TMA UK Theatre Awards, Critic’s Circle Most Promising Newcomer in 2011, and she scooped both the Best Director and Best Production gongs at The Off West End Theatre Awards for Accolade (which was also listed in Spectator's Top Ten Plays and won Time Out's Best Fringe Show). Phew. We have worked together a number of times, most recently at The Globe. She is one of the UK’s finest and most sought after directors and I know her intelligent, insightful and playful way of working will massively enhance the show.
PS this is my child who I now most definitely love (unless it's pre 6am).