For many of us, Girl Guides provided a sense of community amongst women. A charitable group providing opportunities to develop life skills and meeting friends from various walks of life, the influential group has helped to instil a sense of pride and worth to many. Continuing on from the topic of a sense of unity amongst women, the bonds between grandmothers, mothers and daughters are perhaps our introduction to future networks formed. An unconditional bond, these shape our interactions throughout life. Exploring these connections in her play Do Our Best, Remy Beasley tells us more about her personal reasons for creating the play, her creative process and how the whole experience has been cathartic for her to explore.
Hi Remy, your play Do Our Best will take part in this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe throughout August. How are you feeling ahead of the run?
I’m a bag of varying feelings at the moment. Excited to get the show up and running and to finally try it out on the Edinburgh audiences and also a bomb of utter anxiety about having to share my work. It’s quite potent.
The show explores navigating numbness, searching for a relatable tribe, fending off eternal unhappiness and seeking achievement. What inspired you explore these themes?
The catalyst for the show was undoubtedly my mother. She passed away a few years ago and recently I found myself wanting to explore my grief and the journey of striving forward – trying to love, achieve, be kind in the wake of a personal devastation.
How have you approached creating Do Our Best?
I literally just started writing one day in a cafe on Broadway Market and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t stop until whatever it was, was finished. Which is quite apt now that the show is partly about the Girl Guides. Their promise and commitment to ‘do my best’. It’s a good ethos. I also ended up at a writers retreat at the end of last year up in glorious North Wales and managed to get a good chunk of work done.
Do Our Best will see Hannah Banister direct, as you perform your work. How have you both worked together to realise the show?
I’ve loved every moment of working with Hannah. It’s been super collaborative. She is an excellent facilitator and really invested in my script and came at it with some amazingly vivid ideas. We spent two and a half weeks at the London Welsh Centre and played around. Throwing things at the wall and seeing what stuck. It was joyous. She is a queen.
The show draws on your own personal experiences, inspired by the relationship with your mother, and her relationship with her mother. How have you found exploring this within your work?
Quite cathartic actually. I’ve laughed a lot about her. Remembering different stories, different moments that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I feel quite grateful to have had this time to unabashedly think about her in detail day in day out. It’s also dragged up a sense of longing that is never too far away. I miss her always but there have been days of exploring her within the work that has made me miss her terribly.
What can audiences expect from the show?
An hour of me thrashing about in a Girl Guides uniform trying to win your heart.
What would you like for audiences to take away from the show?
That the most honourable way to remember someone is to keep living wholeheartedly and in utter kindness with those around you. It can’t all be for nothing.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers and theatre makers?
Keep going. Start the thing and finish it. It’ll be worth it when you get there.
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Do Our Best will be showing from Wednesday 31st July until Sunday 25th August 2019 at Summerhall as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…