A couple of years ago, I was taken by news reports of older people participating in the Extinction Rebellion protests. I was quite inspired by these stories and was left in awe of the potential sacrifice that some of these people were making. I was also feeling guilty for not having the courage to join the rebellion and find my place on the barricades. On the basis that we all have to do what we can, however small, I wrote a monologue about an older lady who decided that she would protest.
The script sat on my computer for some time but the idea kept nagging at me and earlier this year, I decided I needed to do something about it. I redrafted the monologue and gave it a title. Karen, my wife and business partner, animates all our short courses and after some discussion she agreed to have a go at this bigger project and bring the character to life. With this, my idea became “Margaret’s Story”.
I was still unsure what to do with Margaret’s Story until a happy coincidence of ideas and events came together. ACE Settle and Area expressed interest in using the story and put me in touch with Hazel Richardson, who very kindly agreed to provide Margaret with a voice. At around the same time, Settle Stories decided that climate change would be the theme for this year’s Yorkshire Festival of Story and they accepted the idea of the story having its premiere as part of the Festival.
Earlier this month, Margaret’s Story had its online premiere during the Yorkshire Festival of Story. More than 60 people from across the world watched the film and the question and answer session that followed it. More people viewed the film on “catch up” via the Festival’s Crowdcast and we then put the film on our own YouTube channel. In the couple of weeks it has been live on YouTube, more than 100 people have watched the film. If you missed it and would like to watch Margaret’s Story, you can follow the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfXJ__gKWmo .
I would like to thank ACE and Hazel Richardson. I would also like to thank Sita Brand and the team at Settle Stories for agreeing to screen Margaret’s Story. I would also like to thank, and apologise to, the wonderful Alan Bennett, whose Talking Heads series of monologues showed me how to tell this story!
Whether you watch Margaret’s Story or not, please remember that we all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the climate and the wider environment. I do not expect you to join the protest marches and get arrested but please, do what you can!
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