In true icebreaker / first-day-in-rehearsals style, let’s play truths and a lie:
I am a proud working-class, chips-cheese-and-gravy-loving, disabled artist, from the North of England, with a pet stegosaurus called whiskers.
I did a happy dance in the street when I got the email telling me I had the opportunity to join Wellspring. I was so excited because I couldn’t wait to join a group of artists, learn with them and have such brilliant tutors impart their wisdom every week… Every week!
It has been a highlight to meet an astonishingly talented bunch of people and be part of such a wonderfully supportive community. It really feels like we have found and created a safe space. I feel privileged to be part of it.
I love theatre, I love watching theatre, being in a theatre, working in theatre and writing for theatre. I hope it is a safe place for people and somewhere that everyone feels like they could find home and experience magic.
For any other playwrights looking for professional development support, here are my three top tips:
- Apply for every writer’s lab, mentoring schemes or development support programmes. Every application you do will make your ability to answer questions and talk about yourself as a writer easier and it gets less and less painful every time.
- Honour your identity and individuality, no one can write like you and that in itself should be cause for celebration.
- Finally, utilise the free workshops, writer’s meets and already existing community. I learnt so much from meeting and listening to other artists, even sitting with my mic muted on Zoom over the last couple of years.
I haven’t practised talking about the play I am writing as part of Wellspring yet, I definitely don’t have my elevator pitch yet. But I will try my best especially for you: Fighting Bitch Me is a play about a woman trying to fall in love with every aspect of herself. Not much sex, some drugs and zero Rock and Roll, Fighting Bitch Me is a play about how everyday things can create mental health crises but also heal us. How did I do?!
Fighting Bitch Me and the main three characters came running at me a few months ago and wouldn’t leave me alone. They have been struggling to get out ever since and now I am lucky to be getting to know them and learning about their journeys.
If you can’t tell, I am writing this after a brilliant day spent with Fighting Bitch Me. The love I currently feel for it could change tomorrow and we could really fall out! It’s not all sunshine and roses everyday.
In other news, I am part of a theatre company called Degenerate Fox. We attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes in the Neo-Futurist aesthetic, if you would like to know more follow us on the socials @degeneratefoxuk. My debut solo show, Outside, is back for another outing later this year so follow me for any updates on that @gabriellemacph and OF COURSE come to the Wellspring sharing in late spring to see all the wonderful pieces we have been working on.
Have you guessed what the lie is?
Gabrielle MacPherson, Wellspring Writer 2021 – 2022
Gabrielle is an actor and writer, proudly Northern, working class and Neurodiverse. Passionate about feminist driven art and working class stories Gabrielle also believes the best form of potato is chipped with cheese and gravy.
Wellspring is Vital Xposure’s professional development programme for London-based disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent playwrights and script writers, funded by City Bridge Trust and delivered in partnership with Paines Plough, Bush theatre, Theatre 503 and Hampstead Theatre.