It’s the Final Countdown!

There are 3 days to go on the But For Us Kickstarter campaign, and we are so close to achieving our goal. Thank you so much to everyone who has already pledged and supported us so far – you are a brilliant bunch of backers!

We’ve raised 70% of our target so far – please help us with the final push. We need to get the But For Us message to as many people as possible, so if you are able to share the project on social media or with friends and family we would be very grateful.

Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2RQITkL

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whoopnwailtheatre

Twitter: https://twitter.com/whoopnwail

Ali, Debs & Fiona - script meeting in York

Ali, Debs & Fiona – script meeting in York

Today we took a day trip to meet with our director, Fiona McPherson, in York which is halfway between her base and Whoop ‘n’ Wail HQ. We had an incredibly productive afternoon fine tuning the script and planning for the R&D in September.

#TheFightGoesOn #ButForUsThePlay

But For Us – the trailer

We have been busy bees here at Whoop ‘n’ Wail HQ. Following our fantastic table read of But For Us in January, we have been hard at work putting together a phenomenal team to take the play to the next stage.

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Welfare’s in a state and the pensioners are revolting.

Dora 2

 75-year-old Dora Cockburn is a life-long campaigner, fighting to save the NHS from the politicians and privateers with only a packet of biscuits and partner-in-crime Ray to help her. Now her estranged son Martin, a Tory MP, is on her doorstep asking for help – what’s a woman to do?  

WATCH THE TRAILER

But For Us is a  vibrant full length play celebrating our NHS and those willing to fight for its survival. In order to get this timely, prescient and, dare we say, hugely entertaining play on the stage as a full production, we need your support to help us fund our research and development. This is an essential part of creating a new play, where the writers work with actors and a director to get the play on its feet to finely tune the script.

We are currently raising funds so that we can pay a cast of fabulously talented actors and a director to work with us for one week. At the end of the week, there will be a rehearsed reading of the play, which will be open to all. It will also be a showcase for guests from the theatre industry, our future collaborators and producers for a fully staged production of But For Us.

We are delighted to be Associate Performers at the Old Diorama Arts Centre in London where we held the first table read in January. Their support is proving invaluable in the development of this piece of work and we are grateful to them for providing us with our rehearsal space as funding in kind.

But For Us is more than a play. It is an act of solidarity and a celebration of all the people across the UK, from all over the world, who keep the NHS going. We can probably all agree that the NHS, as it is now, isn’t perfect but boy, do we rely it in our time of need.

And it is under threat, make no mistake, from gradual privatisation; a move towards an insurance based healthcare system, such as in the USA; and of course the fall out from Brexit.

Now is the time for us to take a stand and use our talents to make our voices heard. We love the NHS and the principles on which it was founded. We know you do too.

So, join us. Please give what you can to support the development of But For Us, a play intended to inspire us into action to fight for the survival of our NHS.

#thefightgoeson

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Anyone for a spot of anarchy?

Dora Cockburn, 72, from Shepherds Bush, London, is one of the Windrush Generation. A grandmother and retired social worker, she always enjoys a natter with her friends over a cuppa and a good biscuit. When the biscuits are down, however, she spends the majority of her time indulging in a spot of anarchy.

Dora is an activist, hell-bent on protecting the NHS from the forces of privatisation.

Her son is a Conservative MP, and Minster for Health and Social Care.

Welfare’s a state and the pensioners are revolting.

We’ve spent the last 18 months or so with Dora. We’ve been with her as she’s publicly stood her ground with the powers that be, and has privately been torn between her love for her family and the principles she holds so dear.

Dora is the main character in our new full-length play, currently in development. There may never have been such an interesting and pertinent time to be exploring what the NHS and our public services as a whole mean to us as a nation. As playwrights, we have certainly been given plenty of both inspiration and provocation.

But of course where inspiration fuels art, art fuels inspiration and the thousands of people attending the recent NHS rallies in London have been rousingly accompanied by songs from the National Health Singers, and our very own Debs has been giving it some damn good alto.

Look who was hanging out with them backstage at the rally at the Methodist Central Hall in January.

The National Health Singers joined by Jeremy Corbyn (Deborah Klayman is to his left)

The National Health Singers with Jeremy Corbyn

Debs also had the pleasure of joining the choir at the recording of Maverick Sabre’s Hands Of Hope for the Labour Party’s political broadcast, which was broadcast on national TV earlier this year. This moving film, directed by Josh Cole, acts as a reminder of the challenges we face if we want our NHS to work for the many, not for the few.

And in the year that marks a century since the first stage of suffrage for women, we are reminded of how powerful we can be with the courage of our convictions and how critical it is for all our voices to come together, united and defiant, in support of our public services and, in particular, our NHS.