Hannah Maxwell’s show about legacy, lineage, coming out and going home is a smart little thing. Maxwell comes from a family who are devoted to amateur dramatics. Her gran and her mum have both played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. They think that Hannah should audition to play her too. She would prefer to play Freddie. With its singalongs and audience participation, the fuzzy video clips of amateur shows, ironic use of black-outs and even an interval, this might initially appear to be simply a knowing but affectionate celebration of am-dram. But gradually it turns into something else, something deeper about the burden of family expectation, finding your own role in life and how as the train you are on gets nearer to home you start to feel further away.
“89 years. 172 different productions. I am the first female member of my family to not appear in a Thalians show for a reason other than pregnancy.” Amateur dramatics: the unspoken past of many a Fringe performer. From four generations of leading ladies comes one queer Londoner, sharing a story of return and reconciliation – with her hometown, cultural inheritance and secret love of musical theatre. Step-ball-changing between suburb and city, I, AmDram minds the gap between the identities we assert and the worlds we leave. Developed through Starting Blocks at Camden People’s Theatre in 2017. The artist is honoured to enjoy the support of the Welwyn Thalians Musical and Dramatic Society (est 1929).