She Called Me Mother by Michelle Inniss
“When she gon come? I lookin at de people dem but I can’t see her. She a pretty lookin ting, she does stan’ out amongst these faces dripped in dissatisfaction…”
Evangeline is waiting, she has been waiting a long time. She waits for the Black Swan to glide through the station and show her a little warmth and kindness. She waits for a ticket home to Trinidad, the sun, the mango trees, and the street vendors selling curry. She waits for Shirley, the daughter she let walk away all those years ago.
“I try not to tink about she too much, ‘cause de pain dem thoughts bring it like a heard of buffalo runnin wild in a field, an’ I beneath dem foot.”
Will her daughter ever return to her and can she ever forgive the mother that let her go?
This original piece of drama written in the Trinidadian Vernacular poses questions about Evangeline’s life. What does it mean to be elderly and homeless in our society today? How can we heal broken relationships with our mothers or daughters? And, how do we uncover the secrets of domestic violence from their veil of domestic bliss?
Cast and creatives
Evangeline Cathy Tyson
Shirley Chereen Buckley
Writer Michelle Inniss
Director Cara Nolan
Designer Amelia Jane Hankin
Lighting Designer Peter Small
Sound Designer Kerri McLean
Company Stage Manager Amber Jane Taylor
Associate Sound Designer Harry Johnson
Pitch Lake Productions with Tara Arts for Black Theatre Live.
The run of the production was for 7 weeks and there were a total of 30 performances during a 7-week national tour.
Venues – Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Lighthouse Poole, Theatre Royal -Margate, Key Theatre, Derby Theatre, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Queen’s Hall Arts – Hexham, Trinity Bristol, Upstairs at the Western, Antonin Atraud Theatre – Brunel University, Belgrade Theatre, The Lowry, The Witham- Barnard Castle, Bickerton Village Hall – Cheshire Touring Company, Unity Theatre.
She Called Me Mother is still to be performed at Tara Theatre in Spring 2017.
Margate audience engagement video
“A Trinidadian woman reflects on the twists that have left her alone in life, in an affecting debut play by Michelle Inniss. The use of the Trinbago vernacular is richly effective, lending it poetry without a hint of prissiness.”
“Michelle Inniss’ distinguished debut delivers a strong message through well-crafted performances from Cathy Tyson and Chereen Buckley. Inniss’ script explores challenging territory without ever preaching to her audience… Impressively moving debut.”
5 stars “She Called Me Morher was an absolutely brilliant show. The combination of superb writing and truly amazing performances from two fantastically talented actresses make this an awesome show that will stay with me for a long time.”
London Theatre 1
4 Stars “She Called Me Mother is a thoughtful play, beautifully written by Michelle Inniss and compellingly performed by Cathy Tyson and Chereen Buckley. The play’s exploration of memory, especially when examining the development and deterioration of relationships, makes for a highly visceral experience.”
4 Stars “A moving tale about life as a homeless woman, this poignant production will certainly speak to your humanity. Michelle Inniss’ ability to tell such a moving story as this is particularly impressive. This is Pitch Lake Productions’ first small scale tour, and if it’s anything to go by, this company is definitely one to watch.”
4 Stars “The play sensitively deals with some extremely hard and uncomfortable topics, challenging the audience to remember that homelessness, domestic violence and child abuse not only exist but are common. Evangeline´s monologue is far from grim however; her story is told with humour, wit and wisdom.”
“Michelle Inniss, writer of She Called Me Mother, has put together an absolutely beautiful script. It’s full of imagery;it’s funny. It distils complex emotions into punchy monologues and it gradually builds two rich realistic characters, who will remain in your mind after the play ends.”
Bargain Theatre Land
Michelle Inniss blog post for the Big Issue
St Mungos interview with Cathy Tyson
The Big Issue interview with Michelle Inniss
Afridiziak interview with Michelle Inniss
Words With Jam interview with Michelle Inniss
BBC Women’s Hour interview with Cathy Tyson
Cathy Tyson chats to BBC South East Today