Sonia Hughes talks about her journey as a writer
‘I started writing in 1999 when I joined a family literacy project at my son’s primary school. As part of this project I wrote the story called Weeding Cane. Weeding Cane, the short story, was written surprisingly quickly. It was a story I’d observed in my own house as my sister had come to join the family from St Kitts when I was one and she was twelve years old.
So the words just tumbled out of my head onto the page in one evening. The play, took far longer. After raising funds and approaching the green room in Manchester, I interviewed other women who had been through similar experiences of being left in the Caribbean and then brought to England to join their families. This immediately made the story I needed to tell richer and more complex.
This tour marks the launch of a new theatre company – Weeding Cane. Through the making of Weeding Cane I discovered that I would like to make plays, rather than write them, that I want to work collaboratively with other artists from the beginning of the process, rather than sit alone with my computer. So, my next job is to write for the critically acclaimed company, Quarantine, who are making a show called Susan & Darren, looking at a mother and son relationship. The play that I’m writing for Nottingham Playhouse is a play that once again starts with my family – my father and his brothers. Weeding Cane’s next major production will be a collaboration between myself, Juliet Ellis, the designer and actor in Weeding Cane and Vicki Amedume, a circus aerialist. Based on the Bible’s Song of Songs, the show will explore black female/white male relationships in a challenging and visually explosive way.’