I’m sitting writing this article in the bar of the Tricycle where the team are busy taking down the festival decorations. It’s like the day after a party where everyone is sad it’s over, but has the chance to reflect on the fun events that have passed. The company and I would just like to thank Indhu Rubasingham and her AMAZING team at Tricycle Theatre; everyone from the Bar Staff to the Office Staff have been so welcoming and vocal in their support. Their belief in what young people can achieve has touched us all, and we just hope we made them proud and can continue to do so in the future.
The entire process has been, well… there are no words. I feel so privileged to have been a part of the Takeover Festival. I laughed at The Wardrobe, I cried at We Think its Extraordinary performed by 11-to-13-year-olds, where they talked about all the things they want to be when they’re older and how they hate being stereotyped. The entire week has reinforced for me the importance of theatre in today’s world; inspiring tolerance and understanding of one another’s experiences, from our troubles to our triumphs.
My advice to other young practitioners is to be proactive. Push yourself to the limit and then a bit more. Try things you had never considered before; directing, writing, stand-up comedy! This leads to cross-disciplines which can lead to even more exciting and experimental theatre.
Most importantly, focus predominantly on your weaknesses. Perfect your craft. I am constantly plagued with self-doubt. Is my acting convincing? Is my play interesting? Was that joke funny? We all have days where we just need to take a step back and gain some perspective. But as much as I doubt whether I’m good at what I do, I never doubt that I love what I do. There is no place I feel as at home as a rehearsal room.
My last piece of advice would be view everything as an opportunity. I spent nearly two years working in an office, wondering why I was living so far away from my family. Whilst it wasn’t in my chosen field I learnt a lot about the real world and came across some interesting people who inspired a lot of my plays and sketches. Sometimes we creative types can get stuck in our own little bubbles, but the people you come across at work, on the tube, are the people we want to engage with. I don’t want to make theatre for other theatre practitioners. I want to make it for anyone who has the faith to walk through the foyer door, whether they have heard of Bertolt Brecht or not. For me, theatre is all about telling stories about the world we live in. It’s about finding some common ground with your fellow humans. It’s about connecting. And that is what was at the heart of The Kilburn Passion.
Rachael Black is an actor, playwright and comedy writer/performer, originally from North East England. She is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme and Soho Theatre’s Writing and Comedy Lab.