Roxanne and the virtue of going back home...

Roxanne Carney
Roxanne Carney

University of Chichester graduate Roxanne Carney takes to the London stage with a look back at the changing world of dating and her experiences of it.

I’m The Hero of This Story will be at Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London on Tuesday, March 21 at 8.30pm.

“This is about not knowing where you belong,” says Roxanne.

After taking a massive leap of faith and moving home, Roxanne believed she had sussed it out and it was plain sailing from here. But at every turn along a really stretched-out path of starting again, Roxanne met with obstacles...

The result is a show in which Roxanne merges theatre, spoken word and hip hop to open conversations about the expectations of young women - a series of witty and fast-paced poems tackling Roxanne’s relationship to gender politics, break-ups, family, dating, sexual health, democracy and generation rent, she explains.

“I graduated in 2014 from Chichester, doing performing arts,” Roxanne said. “It was brilliant. It was totally unexpected. I knew I would be performing, but I didn’t realise I would be doing so much theoretical and devising stuff. And I didn’t know how well supported I would be into the big wide world out there. I mainly produced, and I didn’t even know that producing was a route I could take. Proper credit to the guys at Chichester.”

But for this latest show she is a performer: “I was asked by one of my fellow graduates to perform at a scratch evening, like a work in progress night, a kind of open mic. It was just ten minutes of material in any form. I didn’t have anything ready, but I said yes, and I had just started using the dating app Tinder, and I really struggled to get on with it. It went against a lot of things that I stood up for and believed in. The kind of feeling and vibe of Tinder is very shallow. You just see a picture and think whether the person is attractive or not, and nine times out of ten they are just wanting a sexual purpose. I was not OK with that. I was OK with chatting, but it was still stranger danger. You still get people that offer up the opening line ‘You look fit.’ It just wound me up. And you look at the profiles, and it is just really degrading.I just started writing poetry. It was well received, and it resonated with quite a lot of people. A lot of women have experienced misogyny and sexist comments, even when they are dancing. You can’t win. I came back into dating and couldn’t believe it had changed so much in four or five years.

“The show is basically a lot of mini-poems, just detailing the last year I have had since moving back home. I have found someone now. That was through doing something completely different, something more connected with personality. But the show is not really about finding love. It is about coming back home and starting again, except you are not starting again. There is the whole thing of like the stigma of coming back home and feeling a failure, but actually coming back home was really good for me.”

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