The world premiere production of an uplifting new show heads to Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre next month. We Should Definitely Have More Dancing is actress Clara Darcy’s remarkable, uplifting real-life story. The fit, mainly carefree, happily single actress is joyously dancing through life until her world is turned upside down thanks to the arrival of a tumour – slap-bang in the middle of her head.
Exploring the things that define us, that fill us up and make us who we are, this cautionary postcard from the edge of life is performed by the actress herself with Shamia Chalabi and Suzanna Hamilton. For We Should Definitely Have More Dancing Clara joins forces with renowned director Tatty Hennessy and the team behind the multi-award-winning The Greatest Play in the History of the World, Ian Kershaw and Raz Shaw.
Clara Darcy says: “Although this is a show with a really serious subject matter that makes you confront quite dark, deep and difficult things about life and possibly even your own existence, more importantly it is a celebration of the brilliant nuances of being alive and actually what a gift it is to have a dance with death that brings you to that realisation.”
Co-Director Raz Shaw says: ”In 1995 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. After a year of heavy-duty chemo and radiotherapy, I was thankfully given the all-clear in 1996. In my subsequent career as a theatre director that experience has given me unique insights that I have been grateful for over and over again. Meeting Clara, hearing what she’s been through and helping bring her story to the stage has been one of the privileges of my life and makes sense of everything I went through 25 years ago. I immediately connected with that feeling of being at the centre of an unimaginable and surreal whirlwind that not only yields fear and confusion but also unexpected moments of joy and euphoria. The play wonderfully echoes Clara herself: not just her openness, which in itself is extraordinary, but more her ability to embrace the cacophony of absurdities that a life-threatening illness brings. And her need to laugh, cry and dance her fears away, often all in the same moment! I am honoured to be part of the brilliant team bringing Clara’s remarkable life-affirming story to audiences.”
Co-Writer Ian Kershaw said: “I didn’t know Clara well. We’d collided at press night in theatre bars over the years and become Twitter friends. One day, I saw she’d been surprised by a brass band in her garden – not an everyday occurrence – I scrolled back and learnt of what had happened to her… I dropped her a line to offer my help if she ever wanted to write about her experience – oversee/co-write/whatever.
“We met, we talked about what had happened to her, and we soon realised this had to be a stage-play and we needed people to be with us to share the story – a story of someone sailing away and coming back with insight to help us live better, to be better, to be present, to be here.
“And now we’re friends, not just Twitter friends, but friends in real life. And I think that every single person who comes to see and to hear and to be a part of this story will also become her friend and will leave the theatre feeling the world is a bit fuller, a lot brighter, hugely happier and that we should definitely have more dancing.”
We Should Definitely Have More Dancing can be seen at the SJT at 7.30pm on Tuesday 12 July and at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Wedneday 13 July. Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at www.sjt.uk.com.