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Award winning playwright and actor Amanda Wilkin: 'everyone’s journey is their own'


Image: Photograph of Amanda Wilkins by Helen Murray

When I first met Amanda Wilkin in person, she was stood on a trampoline in Soho Theatre’s Bar. Rather than just for fun, Amanda was doing the photoshoot for Shedding A Skin’s poster but it feels right that I met her while she was bouncing because she exudes a joy that makes her writing and performance in Shedding a Skin electric and that make Myah, the play’s protagonist, feel like an old friend.

Now, Amanda is just over halfway through her run, which has been so well received and I caught up with her to see how she was doing and where her head was at, at this point in the show.

Ameena Hamid: Hey Amanda! How’re you doing?

Amanda Wilkin:
I’m well thanks. Thankful to be working on my show right now. Sending a lot of love to other artists, as things begin to open up and we think on the important work we want to make, and how we want to collaborate together again.

Ameena: So, you’re halfway through the run of Shedding A Skin, what’s on your mind at the moment?

Amanda:
Making sure I am match fit energy wise for each show. A few weeks ago I was thinking how did I manage 8 shows a week pre pandemic?! I’m trying to make sure I’m listening to each audience too, which is more difficult with the mask wearing, but my quality of listening as a performer is hopefully getting better...

Ameena: Since you wrote Shedding A Skin before the pandemic, are there moments which feel more poignant now?

Amanda:
Yes I wrote the play before the pandemic and handed it into the Verity Bargate award in January 2020. I think that the themes of the play are still very relevant today though, with what we have all gone through. It’s weird that the world has changed so much, and still is, but the hope for community and kindness to our neighbours is even more crucial.

Ameena: Shedding A Skin shows a beautiful and I think rare, appreciation and respect for elders, where did that come from? Do you have an inter-generational bond like Myah and Mildred’s that you have or is there someone you look up to particularly?

Amanda:
The character of Mildred is based on many of my aunties. We know it takes a village... And writing about intergenerational friendship was very important to me. I think that sometimes when you’re going through something, you can forget that generations before have too, and that we have a lot to learn from each other during our lives. And a lot of joy to be had.

Ameena: Who is Shedding A Skin for?

Amanda:
Everyone.

Ameena: Since you wrote and are performing the show do you have a favourite moment in the show and has that changed with an audience in?

Amanda:
My favourite moment is when we get to the last scene I think, because I know I always get this feeling of wonder that we’ve all made it through together.

Ameena: If you could reach through to the play what advice would you give Myah or Mildred and what advice have they given you?

Amanda:
I would tell Myah that everyone’s journey is their own. And to reach out to those around her when she needs to. And to be open and honest with herself.

I would say to Mildred thank you.

I like the advice Mildred gives to Myah in the play 'nuh expect nuttin fram a pig but ah grunt'

@amanda_wilkin

Shedding A Skin is at Soho Theatre until 17th July
There is a live streamed performance on the 15th July.

For more details see here - https://sohotheatre.com/shows/shedding-a-skin/



Image: Photograph of Amanda Wilkins by Helen Murray




 

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