I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed To Be Doing
Fifteen years later, after her condition worsened and then she died, Emma found the phrase coming back to her.
“I realised it was quite a profound thing to say,” she says. “After all, do any of us really know what we’re supposed to be doing?”
As a local writer and performer who has made performance poetry and theatre out of autobiographical themes, Emma started to piece together her latest show about herself and her mother, linked by the common theme of libraries. Emma’s Mum was a librarian, Emma works as a library assistant for Calderdale.
The show parallels the lives of two women of different generations charting the sometimes fraught nature of a mother-daughter relationship.
Using story-telling, photographic slideshows, music, and piles of personal mementoes and books, the story unfolds, from Emma’s childhood spent watching the Muppet Show and reading Stig of the Dump, her adolescent angst under the Prime Ministership of Margaret Thatcher, to the adult dreams and frustrations for both women.
The story comes full circle when Emma’s mum hits old age and all memories are thrown into a jumbled heap, to either make sense at last or be lost entirely.
The show is part of the line-up at Brighouse Arts Festival on Friday, October 13 and then she presents it again at the new Halifax Central Library on Saturday, October 21.
The piece was developed with the support of Calderdale Libraries where she is known for her popular creative writing workshops.
This is Emma’s second show. ‘Beyond Dreams of Aberystwyth’ (which was about her father) toured from 2013-2015 and was supported by the Arts Council and also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek programme.
The Brighouse performance is at 2pm and tickets are free from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emma-decent-i-dont-know-what-im-supposed-to-be-doing-tickets-37274859107
Tickets for Halifax- https://www.squarechapel.co.uk/whats-on/i-dont-know-im-supposed/ are £5 and the show is at 4pm.