In 2016, I packed a bag and headed on the train from Glasgow to London to start the Trainee Resident Director Scheme at the King’s Head Theatre. It was a fantastic whirlwind of a year; of training, debating, working with some incredible artists and seeing some inspirational, thought provoking theatre. Before I knew it, the year was over and I was looking for a piece to direct for my showcase. I have always been a keen writer and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to write and direct my first professional full length play at The King’s Head as part of #Playmill
What made is the play about?
They always say write what you know and ‘ Immaculate Correction ’ is my version of this. It’s based on some of my real life experiences at a Catholic school in Glasgow between 2005-2011 and the effects of the only readily accessible information about sex being porn.
‘Immaculate Correction ’ follows chronically self conscious, Stacey in her sexual awakening, as the side effects of no sex education start to permeate around her. Slut shaming, lad culture, unrealistic body image and sexual expectations prevail, whilst sexual harassment is commonplace, everyday playground banter. Her mum is always out on dates and as far as she’s concerned Stacey’s ‘an Immaculate Conception, brought by the angels’. But it’s not all bad. Her best friend Kelly is always there. And one day she’ll be sixteen and can leave school to be the first Scottish lassie on the X Factor. The play explores the struggles of working class girls, as well as the power of female friendship.
Who are your influences, what do you admire about them?
I am influenced by directors such as John Tiffany and Vicky Featherstone and the amazing job they have done putting Scottish stories and theatre on the map. I often write in dialect so I am influenced by playwrights like Morna Pierson, Gregory Burke and DC Jackson. As well as novelist James Kelman for his inspired use of dialect in his novel ‘ How Late it was, How Late ’.
What messages did you want to discuss in your piece and why it is important?
I wanted to discuss the importance in equality in education. I’m passionate that information should not be cherry picked according to what type of institution a person is part of. I want future generations to speak freely about all types of sex and relationships (heterosexual and LGBTQI+), without feeling that this is a taboo subject.
In my research I found that according to a recent an NSPCC/ChildLine survey 6 out of 10 teenagers say they have been asked for sexual images or videos. The play is set on the eve of smart of phone domination. Indecent images were pinged over, pixelated on msn. I can’t imagine what the situation must be like now. Either way it’s time to talk.
What made you submit your production to Playmill?
I wanted to contribute the voice of young working class Scottish females who are seldom represented on the wider UK stage. Stacey in ‘Immaculate Correction’ can’t wait to escape and get on the X Factor. It’s time that characters like her get some stage time.
The play was born of a frustration that little has changed in the teaching of sex education in Catholic schools. I’m also passionate about the ability that theatre has to give people a voice and open up conversations. With 35 emerging companies and 2000 audience members that came through the door last year Playmill festival is a perfect platform to do this. So let’s talk about sex! The more conversation we have the safer future generations will be.
Immaculate Correction will be performed from the 9-13 July at 18:30 as part of #Playmill Festival of new writing. Tickets.
Playwright/ Director: Catherine Expósito
Producer: Alistair Wilkinson
Stage Manager: Ruth Burgon
Lighting Design: Benny Goodman
Set Design: Rachel Moore
Sound Design: Rachael Murray