I’m sat on a train.
The train is taking me from my Mum and Dad’s house, to a flat in Bristol – and that flat is going to be my home for the next few months. And while I’m there, I’m going to make the first iteration of Salt; my new theatre show.
It is a show about journeys. Seemingly endless journeys.
It’s about me getting in my dad’s car to the train station at Gravelly Hill, getting a train to Birmingham New Street then the train to Euston then the tube to St Pancras then the Eurostar to Brussels then the train to Antwerp then a taxi to a ship then a ship to Abidjan to Cotonou to Lagos to Tema then a taxi to Accra then a coach to Elmina then a taxi back to Accra to get on a flight to Dubai then a flight to New York then a flight to Kingston then zipping all over the Island in taxis on the Knutsford express and then a flight to Atlanta and then a flight to Wilmington and then a taxi to Wilmington Port and then a ship to Antwerp and then a taxi to Antwerp Station and then a Train to Brussels and then the Eurostar to St Pancras and then the tube to Euston and then the train to Birmingham New Street and then an Uber to my Mum and Dad’s house.
It’s about the sister I barely know travelling from London to Jamaica to understand our relation to the biological parents we may never know.
It’s about those biological parents leaving Jamaica.
It’s about my Grandparents leaving Montserrat and Jamaica, andthen coming to the UK, for better or worse.
It’s about my Dad never quite making his journey to Ghana (so I went for him, and his words, that’s enough).
It is of course, about millions of enslaved people making and not making journeys across the Middle Passage.
It is about what is important and powerful and beautiful and what is flawed and ultimately doomed to fail in journeys of pilgrimage in the diaspora.
It is not a journey that began in my dad’s car that frosty morning in February.
For me it is perhaps a journey that began when I read the first few tweets coming out of Ferguson and realised something wordless; full of fear and dread and agony about the world that I lived in.
It is not a journey that will end on the 12th May when the first audience take their seats in Bristol and become a part of that journey with me.
Salt is about how all of these journeys intersect – how one does not make sense without the other, how history lives in our bodies.
Sometimes Salt feels incredibly difficult to explain and to make clear. Taking this huge journey – and struggling to articulate why, other than that I needed to travel, for a long, long time – to pay my respects to something, or to someone. That I needed to be far away from where I started, so that I could look back at it, and see it differently.
But at other times, it is simple – as simple as simple can be. I needed to look back, to be able to see what was around me properly, and hopefully, to be able to change what I will see as I go forward. So I took to the sea – and I am making this show, so that I can take you with me. And we can stand, and look, and think together, change together.
See you there.