Meet Florence | Co-writer of Miracle on 34 Seymour Street

I’m a local actor and writer from Chippenham, with a big love for Trowbridge! It’s gotta proper special place in my heart, having spent quite a lot of my time as a teenager in the town, I grew up in Chippenham and after being excluded from all my lessons in secondary school (except for drama), I came to Trowbridge College to study performing arts – that experience literally changed my life, set me on a very different path and is a big part of why I’m an artist today. So to be making a show for the town, about the town, that will hopefully be full of joy and truth and magic, feels like a lush kinda coming full circle.

It’s my thank you note to the town. My love letter to Trowbridge. Or love song…

Trowbridge welcomed me with open arms, at a chaotic time of crises in my life. At college I was celebrated, supported, and encouraged to express myself (very different to my experience at school). I thrived in that environment and against the odds went on to train as an actor at uni and later drama school. 

I always wrote alongside acting, rhymes, lyrics, spoken word, stand-up comedy and in more recent years began writing for theatre and telly. Those earlier forms are all still very present in my writing today, rhythm, poetry and humour play a big part. As does Wiltshire. I’m passionate about putting Wiltshire on the map, and telling the stories of the places and people there, that I know to be true. People often have misconceptions about the county, I think, that it is full of wealth, affluence and rolling hills. There is that side to it. But that’s not the side I know. I grew up on a poor council estate on the edge of Chippenham, life was tough a lot of the time, but also funny and exciting and wild. I think we rarely hear those stories. I hope my work can address that imbalance and help working class communities from towns and villages across the county, the region and beyond feel heard and represented.

I’ve just finished a tour of my one woman show, DESTINY, which I think managed to do just that. It was a very personal story, that’s really close to my heart, and the response has been lush, if a little overwhelming at times. But it’s highlighted that people want and need to hear those stories. A lot of young people came (a demographic that notoriously don’t often engage in theatre) and really connected with the show and were inspired by it. If one or two of them then go onto write their own show, to tell their own stories, then I think it’s doing its job. If you see yourself represented in the arts, then you believe you can be an artist, and art should be reflective of the whole of society, not just a privileged minority for whom it’s accessible and affordable.

I work a lot with young people to support and encourage them to share their own stories and express themselves creatively, mostly in the Southwest, sometimes further afield, in communities that have limited cultural infrastructures in place, in both rural and urban places.

I’m proper excited to be writing the show with Gavin. I love writing collaboratively, and co creating with other artists and communities. Gav’s sound and his music is lush! It’s full of heart, humanity, and humour. His songs are incredibly relatable and truthful, how art should be innit?! Well in my opinion at least. 

Talking of truth, Christmas is complex, complicated, and messy for a lot of people, let’s be real?! It’s not always how it looks on the Christmas cards or in the movies. Not in my family anyway! The show will reflect that, it will be tough and funny and exciting and wild, the reality of Christmas time and life for many of us. We hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Miracle on 34 Seymour Street

Recommended 14+.

 Friday 17th December – 7pm
(Preview) Saturday 18th December – 7pm
Monday 20th December – 7pm
Tuesday 21st December – 7pm
Wednesday 22nd December – 7pm
Thursday 23rd December – 7pm
Friday 24th December – 2pm
Sunday 26th December – 2pm
Monday 27th December – 7pm
Tuesday 28th December – 7pm
Wednesday 29th December – 7pm
Thursday 30th December – 7pm