Performer Yasmin Dawes talks about starring in Award Winning Show ‘Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her)’ showing at Brixton House
Defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, the majority of domestic abuse incidents are perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. Signs of domestic violence including coercive control, psychological, physical and financial abuse, harassment and stalking and online and digital abuse amongst others (Women’s Aid). An issue that sadly affects both men and women – in the vast majority of cases women, the impact of domestic abuse can often have a long lasting traumatic result, victims of abuse often afraid of disclosing what they’re going through or unsure of whom to contact. A brave exploration of this issue, writer Martha Watson Allpress presents multi-award winning, including an OnComm Commendation awarded by the Off West End Awards, Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her), a one woman show shining a delicate light on the realities of domestic abuse and those who experience it. Due to embark on a tour, starting off at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester on Tuesday 10th May, and including Brixton House from the 17th to 22nd May, before concluding at Derby Theatre on 27th May, performer Yasmin Dawes who’ll star as Patricia tells us more about what drew her to take part in the production, what she’s taken away from the creative process and what we can expect from the show.
You’ll be starring in Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) which will embark on a tour from the 10th to 27th May. How are you feeling ahead of the production?
I am feeling so many things, excited to perform, intrigue of how audiences in different cities will respond, the thrill of it all. Many things.
Written by Martha Watson Allpress, the production shines a delicate light on the realities of domestic abuse and those who experience it. What inspired you to take part in the production?
I actually watched the show in its 5-star run at Edinburgh fringe last year and deeply connected to the show. I laughed, I cried and if I didn’t leave Edinburgh the next day I would have gone again. So, when I auditioned for Patricia, I knew how badly I wanted it. A play like this is long overdue, a fully fleshed woman who is a survivor of abuse. Woman centred and not trauma centred.
You star as the lead role, Patricia. How have you approached preparing for the show?
I have worked with my director Kaleya Baxe previously. Knowing each other’s working styles meant we could get straight into it. A lot of character work through improvisation and simply building from the sheer amount of information given to us by our incredible playwright Martha Watson Allpress.
The production has been written by Martha Watson Allpress, directed by Kaleya Baxe, produced by Nur Khairiyah, with sound design by Beth Duke, set and costume design by Ella Clarke, production stage management by Leon Smith and support by well-being practitioner Abs Sol. How have you all worked together to realise the production?
The team is incredible, such a dynamic group of people. To have a majority female team working on this show feels like a gift. When delving into stories like this, to have a well-being practitioner on the team with us is more than I could have asked for and really conveys how the smaller teams within the industry are really listening and making sure we are all safe. Everyone brings such stimulating ideas into the room each day, it is a collaborative effort to make things happen.
What have you learned/taken away from being a part of the production?
Simply that healing is not linear, there are ups, downs, diagonal steps, and side steps, sometimes you really just stand still for a while and that is okay. It doesn’t mean you have regressed; it doesn’t mean you aren’t ‘doing the work’, it means you are human and working through trauma. Also, that if we have the chance to shine light and destroy stereotypes and boxes people (more specifically victims) are subject to, we absolutely should.
What can audiences expect from the production?
Audiences can expect a multi-emotional journey of a multi-faceted woman recovering from an abusive relationship. We get to see Patricia talk us through the before, the during, living in the after and looking forward to the future. She is funny, she is honest, and she is a 4-dimensional person figuring things out just like you and me.
What would you like for audiences to take away from the production?
I would like audiences to really think about the fact that everything we say and do to another person, has lasting consequences, sometimes longer than we ever know. The person sitting beside you may be going through something you have absolutely no idea about, and just because they may throw their head back laughing on the outside, we have no idea what is happening on the inside.
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) will show from Tuesday 17th until Sunday 22nd May 2022 at Brixton House. To find out more about the production, visit here…