GUEST BLOG: Picking up Punk with the team behind Hear Me Howl
On Monday 28th May we will be bringing HEAR ME HOWL, our one-woman play to The Plymouth Fringe for ONE NIGHT ONLY!
We were overwhelmed by the positive response we received from a work-in-progress performance in London earlier this year, and can’t wait to share it with Plymouth this month.
Since 2016, when work on this play began, the team have been throwing themselves into researching punk music, punk philosophy, and particularly the experiences of female-led punk bands and artists, such as Patti Smith and Viv Albertine (from The Slits).
The director and writer even locked themselves in a garage over a cold, dark winter and had a go at bashing around on drums and guitars for the first time ever, with surprisingly impressive results!
This helped get them into the mind-set of the protagonist of Hear Me Howl – JESS, who, on the lead up to her 30th birthday, joins a post-punk band as a drummer, despite having no experience playing the drums, or any instrument at all in fact…
“To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom” Patti Smith
Jess very much expresses herself (her anger, her pain, her newfound freedom) through her drum kit. The collection of drums around her become an extension of herself; they’re her new friends, her weapons, and they help her to tell her story.
Regressing to her childhood days of denting her mum’s pots and pans on the kitchen floor, Jess finds in the drumming a thrilling, life-affirming freedom her adult life (along with most of her adult friends) hasn’t allowed her thus far.
“I grew up in a world that told girls they couldn’t play rock n roll” Joan Jett
The beauty of punk is that its entire aesthetic, sound and philosophy encourages people (particularly women and other underrepresented groups in music) to rail against society’s often very limiting expectations of them.
Playing instruments and playing instruments LOUDLY, howling about one’s discontent in the face of the prying eyes of mainstream culture is about as defiant as you can get.
We hope you will enjoy joining Jess’s riotous but moving rollercoaster as she chucks herself head-first into a new way of living. We hope the play inspires you to crowdsurf your way to the nearest second-hand instrument shop and start playing LOUD AND PROUD!