Doing your own therapy

Wendy remembers being invited to a writing group and dealing with her difficult childhood and the death of her brother by writing 'Jellybabies', an autobiographical play performed in Bradford.

Duration 03:25


WENDY: Somebody rang me one day and said do you want to come along to this erm... this group that started up and they're looking for people to do a play or do writing or… and you're quite good at writing why don't you come along ‘cause I don't want to go my own! And when I got there, it was at the Arts Centre in Little Germany.


WENDY: In Bradford. And it was a group of people that had come together, really nice people. And then I realised a lot of them was lesbians and I was like to my friend: "Oh! Oh lesbians! Are they all lesbians?" [laughs]. ‘Cause going back then I was only young [laughs]. I was like "this is cool!"


WENDY: This is cool! I want to be like these people, d’ya know what I mean. I shouldn't say ‘these people’ should I, that's a bit… I want, this is what I want in life, dy’a know what I mean?

INTERVIEWER: So, when was this?

WENDY: This was '95, erm was it '95? '93, '95… I was about 21, 22... Yeah, so you know I started dressing and you know, going to the clubs and it was a nice time... But I still, wasn't truly myself. Because... you just look at other people and think, yeah well I've got to be like that... because you don't know nothing, you know, and I was so scared of being myself and I had this expectation on me that, you know, I was going to do so well and so I went along to this thing and I ended up... doing my own therapy really.
It started off – they wanted a play, and nobody had come up with one and there was ideas and, for the next two nights, I sat up and I wrote everything I was feeling... my life... and it came out as a play. And this group of people had got Lottery funding and they'd got a music director and, erm, a choreographer to do the play... and… only thing it was for me was [laughs] I’d emptied my closet onto paper.

INTERVIEWER: [chuckles]

WENDY: And then I had these people – the people put in music [laughs] and it was really surreal to watch. They thought it was just a play. It was therapy for me because I'd outpoured what I was going through at that moment... and then to watch [laughs] people doing your life was like a surreal moment... and um yeah, it did really well the play and it's called Jelly Babies [laughs] and it went to the Alhambra Studio for two nights which sold out.