DIEP is delighted to present its new Artist In Residency programme. Selected for this year is Exeter based writer Cally Hayes and her company Documental Theatre.
As part of the residency, DIEP will provide the artist with developmental and promotional support where required for work touring or being developed during the residency period.
Cally Hayes, Documental Theatre (UK, Devon)
Split Second (2017)
“SPLIT SECOND was created from my own experience in my second pregnancy, of having a 1:50 risk of my baby being born with Downs Syndrome. This was over 20 years ago but this experience has remained with me in terms of the emotional turmoil it created in forcing me and my husband to make decisions about the pregnancy that we were not prepared for or supported in. My overriding memory is of feeling bullied by the consultant obstetrician into having an invasive procedure that carried a risk of miscarriage. A risk, however small, that I did not want to take because it was difficult for me to get pregnant. I felt completely powerless and frightened. Although the test confirmed my baby did not have Downs Syndrome, I became increasingly anxious that there was something wrong.
Fast forward 20 years and the press recently reported on a new antenatal screening test for Downs that was heralded as a major step forward for women in terms of reassuring them of a healthy pregnancy. It did the exact opposite for me and was a catalyst for making this piece to not only highlight the psychological fall out of deciding to end a pregnancy but the societal narrative of eliminating disability.
Documental Theatre makes works inspired by lived experience. Fundamental to our productions is working with testimony and a desire to bring unheard stories to a wider audience that are rarely reflected in a mainstream theatrical experience. SPLIT SECOND fits within our artistic practice, in that it portrays an alternative narrative to the current prevailing cultural perspectives of pregnancy.”
Cally Hayes writes character-based drama about ordinary people in extraordinary situations that is both poetic and brutally honest. Starting with a personal encounter, she creates theatre inspired by lived experience. In 2014 she co-founded Documental Theatre that combines refreshingly honest new writing with testimony and vibrant physicality.