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One-woman show ends run in Solihull

The one-hour play - Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield - will be performed at Solihull Arts Complex

Stephanie Ridings in Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield
Stephanie Ridings in Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield

Listening to the hits of Dusty Springfield inspired Stephanie Ridings to write a show that would finish with one of the star’s songs.

Working backwards from the final number, the playwright pieced together a one-woman comedy in which a character reflected on the relationship with her mother and sprinkled a few of the singer’s lyrics in the performance.

Tomorrow night, the one-hour play - Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield - will be performed at Solihull Arts Complex.

“This was an idea I had a few years ago,” says Stephanie.

“I’m not a professional singer, so I had to find a way to make the song work! That’s how I approached the story.

“Originally we took it to the Edinburgh Festival and then I moved down to the Midlands and I’ve been doing a little tour of local theatres.”

Now living in Kenilworth, she says there is a lot of pressure when you’re both penning and appearing in a play - particularly since this production has a cast of one!

“All the audience’s attention is on you - it’s your sole responsibility to hold their interest.

“And there’s no-one else standing there with you, so if you feel as if you’re about to have a coughing fit you’re in trouble.”

Stephanie started as a performer, but found herself increasingly drawn to writing.

Last year she was chosen to take part in the 12-month Foundry project - organised by the Birmingham Rep to nurture new talent in the region.

“I’d say I enjoy writing slightly more these days and I suppose having an acting background I’m a bit more aware about how something could be performed.

“I may recognise a phrase or sentence that’s going to be hard work on stage!”

The Solihull performance brings the Midlands tour to an end.

“I wouldn’t say the play’s dead, but I think it’s the last time I’ll perform it myself,” says Stephanie.

“I think if I bring it back I’ll want to hand over the character to someone else and see what they do with it.”

In the meantime, she’s working on the final draft of the play she’s produced for the Foundry and already has plans to take a brand-new show to Edinburgh next year.

“It’s a Singing Detective-style story,” she says, referencing Dennis Potter’s acclaimed serial.

“We’re just looking now at how we can get it off the ground.”

Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield is on in the studio, starting at 8pm.

Tickets are £12 on the door, or £10 in advance from 0121 704 6962. Details at www.solihull.gov.uk/artscomplex

 

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