A personal note:
I wrote this project in the bath during the first lockdown period. Being forced to be quiet didn't do me very well at that time. It forced me to come to a quite difficult understanding of how I got here.
You see up until that point I had been heavily dissociating from a rough upbringing.
I'd been blissfully deflecting all of it unaware of how I got to this place, every day.
I do have memories, but they were fragmented like old VHS tapes that had been taped over and over and over.
I began to ask questions. Who is my family? What happened to everyone?
I then realized all of this came to one solid question,
Who was my mam?
What did she dream of? What was her story? What were her loves and ambitions?
These questions led to conversations that I brought to creative producer & director Natasha Haws who then spent hours on zoom with me talking about mothers, women, and north east culture.
We talked about the plight of women in the North East, how they have framed us and continue to frame our society and personal identities.
We decided there are many stories from many women that needed to be shared.
And so we did.
Natasha spent hours talking to women from isolated communities and gathered stories of life, love and loss.
Then together we mourned and respected these women through two films. One of which I share the findings of who my mam actually was, a heartbroken, lost, and forgotten woman. And the other a monologue of women's voices who never get to be heard.
Together these films, alongside a body of photgraphic works create the project, JANET.
This is the first time I’ve ever produced film. It was an incredible experience from start to finish. The team of artists who collaborated with me on the project were incredibly nurturing to the themes and concepts and communicated with my ideas in such clear understanding.
The work is here to allow space for unheard voices and untold stories. It is here to honour the women who feel forgotten and ignored. We hear you.
Watch the works below.
JANET #1 Created by Hannah Thompson
JANET #2 Created by Natasha Haws
Natasha Haws is a Freelance Director from South Shields. She works with communities across the NE with a focus on music and creative writing and mentors new career playwrights. She is also a Co-Director of Mustard Stories Arts CIC.
Her credits include: Director - Meggie Magicia (North East Tour) Sugar Baby (Alphabetti Theatre) Mr Incredible (Alphabetti Theatre) Janet (Circ Motif); Familiar (Alphabetti Theatre); Is This Your Story (North East Tour/STSGB);Tender: Loving Care (The Customs House).
Associate Director at The Customs House Pantomime 2017-Present and Assistant Director, West End Girls (Live Theatre) ROAD (Northern Stage)
Photographic works in this gallery were taken by Delphinium Lilac Ross.
Behind The Scenes
Creator & Producer - Hannah Guy Thompson (CIRC Motif)
Co-Producer & Writer - Natasha Haws
Director of Photography - Jacob Garthwaite
Composer - Ruth Lyon
Photographer - Delphinium Lilac Ross
Janet #1 - Emma Crowley Bennet
Janet #2 - Jackie Phillips
Sound Editor - Josef Edwards
Camera Assistant - Dominique Aquino
Vocals - Martha Hill
WITH THANKS TO
The Customs House
Arts Council England