LOWBORN (Down the Chipper)
Sam Ruddock on meeting Kerry Hudson and turning her vision into a reality

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This event has been postponed until further notice.

Story Machine Productions and Kerry Hudson premier their new site-specific show, bringing her groundbreaking memoir spectacularly to life. Sam Ruddock, director of SMP shares his experience of meeting and working with Kerry on this innovative project.

It was during the International Literature Showcase in 2017 that I first spoke to Kerry Hudson about her vision to create a performance of her debut novel Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma in chip shops. Kerry trained as an actor and wanted to bring her Writing and acting together.

 width=That book is about growing up poor – grindingly, unimaginably, poor, – about social inequality and the experience of thousands of people across the UK today. It is a story that needs to be heard. It is a darkly funny book, full of lightly observed brutality and swiftly moving narrative brilliance. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to make this idea a reality. Literature is too stuck in traditional venues.

Fast forward 2 years and Kerry Hudson published her polemical memoir Lowborn this spring to widespread acclaim and excellent sales. She has continued to be a prominent social activist, offering mentoring opportunities through Womentoring, delivering her amazing Breakthrough Festival to further access, inclusion, and representation for writers, and writing a popular and powerful column on austerity Britain for The Pool.

“Now was the time to make Kerry’s vision a reality.”

Meanwhile Story Machine Productions has become established as an innovative creator of unexpected literature experiences, bringing books alive and sharing storytelling moments. We have worked with dancers, actors, composers, and filmmakers to make shows for the Booker Prizes, publishers, and authors, and become known for powerful, socially engaged, content.

Now was the time to make Kerry’s vision a reality.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Kerry will be donning an apron amid the sizzle of oil and the scent of vinegar to give a one-woman monologue performance of stories from her childhood. These stories will be told in chip shops, chip vans, market stalls, and prisons across the UK. LOWBORN (Down the Chipper) is an intimate storytelling adventure, with added flourishes of Story Machine immersion thrown in.

We are not just creating an exciting, sensory, piece of art, but presenting it for free. And in each of these places Kerry will be running writing workshops to encourage other people tell their own stories.

 width=We are in Norfolk this August, and will be touring Suffolk, Essex, Kent, London, Scotland, and Staffordshire over the autumn. Audiences will be able to book, but we’re also encouraging passers by to stop, listen, and get involved. We’re ensuring this tour is accessible to as many people as possible. So bring your chip fork and imagination, and settle in to eat and enjoy storytelling at its finest.

This is a project we are both incredibly excited about. We can’t wait to share it with you soon.

LOWBORN (Down the Chipper) previews at The Plaice for Taste in Mile Cross, Norwich, on Thursday 8th August (2pm), and Premieres at Grosvenor Fish Bar in Central Norwich (arrivals from 6.45pm, show at 7.30pm) that evening. You can book tickets for Grosvenor Fish Bar here.

We will also be at Brewers Chip Saloon on Great Yarmouth Market on Friday 16th August and Sheringham Fish Bar on Saturday 17th August. See www.storymachineproductions.co.uk/tour-diary for show-times.

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