Over the last six months Key Workers have been the pillars that have held the country up throughout a global pandemic. From shop workers to care workers, bus drivers to nurses, each have played a part in keeping the country going. Therefore we really want to create a platform for these everyday un-sung heroes to have their voices heard and share their incredible stories, but need your help to make this happen.
It Is What It Is Productions aim to create a digital series called Lives Worth Talking About which through a series of monologues tells the true stories of everyday people. The first volume which focused on tales of recovery, has recently been released with very positive feedback. Across 3 episodes we told 6 different stories sharing the experiences of those who have battled with addiction and detailing their journey of recovery. Audience feedback from the first volume was overwhelmingly positive, with audiences saying: "Very powerful and emotional", Very moving", "Genius", "Just WOW", "True stories are always the best narratives of all"
The idea for the project came about as the company have been touring the UK with a show called, ‘Mum, Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid?’ for a number of years. Based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, the play tells the true story of her twins, Simon & Nicholas Mills and their battle with Heroin addiction which ultimately led to Nick’s death by suicide. Over the years we were always touched when audience members felt comfortable enough to come and share their own experiences of addiction with us and it became apparent fairly quickly just how many stories are out there and how many people are affected by the issue. There’s a huge social stigma attached to addiction which not only affects the addict but also those closest to them and so we felt compelled to provide a platform for these people to tell their story and hopefully help tackle the stigma.
We are hoping that Volume One is just the start for the project and plan to produce a whole series of the show but feature a different theme for each volume. We’re passionate about giving as many people as possible a voice and a platform to share their experiences, so each time we’d like to bring focus to another group of people who have experiences to share and a story to tell.
Originally the project was going to be delivered through live performance, but Covid-19 had other ideas. However, not wanting to put the project on hold, we decided to take the project online and successfully created Volume One as a piece of digital theatre.
Following a call out for individuals who would like to get involved, people from across the country came forward to share their experiences of addiction and their recovery from their own perspective. Through a series of virtual meetings, the team met those interested and started the process of obtaining these stories and using them to create a series of monologues which could then be filmed from home, using just the equipment they had to hand.
However, we really believe that the fact that we’ve had to deliver the project from our own homes has actually helped us highlight how widespread the issue of addiction is and how it can affect anyone, and hopefully make them even more relatable and help chip away at that social stigma.
We would love to continue to develop the project and produce Volume 2: Confessions of a Key Worker, but we really need your help to make this happen.