Sisterhood – A play that is requesting I step up


I’d chatted to the lovely Paul Levy about writing a blog that recorded my experiences of bringing Sisterhood to Edinburgh and I’d planned to do it, but it hasn’t happened until now. And that’s because I hadn’t really known what to write about. I’d already recorded my experiences of taking a show to Edinburgh, from a producer’s perspective, and I gave lots of tips to theatre companies on how to make it work up there and get the most out of it. Those blogs are all still on this site if you’d like to have a look at them. But for this blog, I’ve decided to do something completely different. Because where I’m at currently, in myself and in the process of creating this show, is a very different place to a specifically practical one, and I’ve decided, even though it feels dangerous, raw, vulnerable and perhaps even inappropriate, the process I’m going through at the moment is making me have to speak my truth. I’m being asked, by the universe and my inner journeying, to show up and be real. And so that’s what I’m going to do…

Part 2

In the run up to Sisterhood hitting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on the 1st August, I’ve been interviewing archetype Eve to see what she has to say on our current relationship with her,  how things have been going with Adam and what she thinks we need to do from here…

Hi Eve

Hi Jolie

In the archetypal realm, do you feel that there is a mobilisation amongst the feminine archetypes? Is a paradigm shift occurring?

Well, there is a constant paradigm shift occurring. If you think of a kaleidoscope, tiny little shards of reality are constantly shifting. It seems small and inconsequential at first, but a few tiny shifts happen and then suddenly the overall image is completely different and new.

Are you despondent or tired of humanity?

I’m the original mother and no matter how awful humanity has treated me, I still love you and look forward to the day you stop blaming me for everything and return to me.

Will you forgive us?

Of course I will… You’re my child and I love you. I just want to hang out and be part of your life again.

Can we come back from here?

Yes. But the sooner the better because you’re becoming an addict. The further down this road you go the harder it is going to be to come back. You’re not ruined yet, but it’s already not going to be easy. You need to make the choice to change things and then put the work in to make it happen.

What do I need to do?

Look after yourself better. Stop thinking about yourself the whole time and start thinking about how you can be of service to others… What is your contribution? The sound of your unique note. What are you bringing to the table and how can you live that as fully as possible? Take care of your health. Eat well. Keep your home tidy and clean. Don’t spend all day in front of a screen. Go for lots of walks and be outside. Take time to sit and breath and do nothing. Get plenty of exercise. Don’t work all the time. Go on holiday. Follow your passions. Fall in love hopelessly again and again and again. Love your self and everyone around you the way I love you.

How’s Dad?

He’s tired. I haven’t seen him in a very long time.

Does he feel any love or compassion towards you?

Yes, deep down. I know he misses me, but he had a point to prove that he could do better than me and didn’t need me. And for a long time, he was right. But now he’s forgotten how to express himself without shouting and he’s shouted himself hoarse and is run down and worn out. He’s destroyed everything he loved in the name of power and he’s either going to obliterate himself or he’s going to have a nervous break down or he’s going to have to chill out. Either way he certainly can’t go on like this for much longer.

Would you ever take him back?

Our dance is as old as time and we are one thing experiencing each other subjectively as separate aspects, but we are not separate. We are the same infinity. He’s in me and I’m in him. It’s a tango… And there is no tango without him.

Have you anything else you want to say?

I have all the love in the world for you my child. But you are not my first and you will not be my last. Your time here is short, so make the most of it… What legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered? You’re 21 now, you’re a grown up, so who you going to be in the world?

And take more mushrooms.

Sisterhood is a new play/spell invoking the power of the divine feminine by reclaiming the deep horror of the witch wound & by spinning out our shared web of stories. 1-26 August, 12.45pm


Part 1

Creating Sisterhood has been a delicious process and has changed my life, which I was hoping it would do. I get three main things out of making theatre; Firstly, it is my tool kit for making the world a better place, which is all that I really care about doing. I think to make the world a better place we need to connect more with each other and with our true selves. Theatre supports one with doing both these things. Secondly, I think theatre is an emotional martial art or exercise practice, like Chi-Gong or Thai Chi or Yoga. Traversing your inner world, using your emotional landscape as a paint pallet and learning to bring the inner out through your physicality takes practice and requires determination, dedication and lots of repetition. Some days you are on form and some days you are not, and the journey of development will last the whole of your life. Thirdly, I find that my art and life really do reflect each other. When I get properly involved in a play, the play begins to manifest in my every day life. It means I must pick my projects wisely! When I worked on Richard II for three years I ended up being usurped, so it can sometimes work in a negative direction. But Sisterhood… Mmmmm… Sisterhood has been doing unbelievably good and yummy things to my life. I’ve never felt so nourished or powerful.

The process of creating Sisterhood has unfurled like a stunning bloom. Since January, when I began researching this project, I’ve initiated myself as a witch, found like minded women who either want to work with me creatively or form a coven with me – or both. I’ve found a new spiritual home where I want to live and grow old, I’ve begun a deeply passionate affair with nature and can now not only name most of the birds, which I’d already learnt, but this year I’ve learnt to recognise their songs, I’ve learnt to differentiate and name most of the trees and many of our wild flowers. And I’ve been churning through books about nature by writers like Robert Macfarlane and J.A. Baker. And I’ve even fallen in love with a particularly beautiful patch of grass. I’m giddy with passionate love and lust for the planet and all her splendorous beauty. SHE is making my heart combust with joy.

And SHE is asking me to step up, be my truth and be seen. It is scary as hell. I feel naked and exposed. But there’s no turning back now. This is what is happening, and it is happening for a reason. SHE has plans and I’m not going to get in her way. I gave myself over to going with the flow some years ago, after several failed rounds of IVF when I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t control the universe and that we really are just spinning around on a rock that’s hurtling through space and it’s all totally chaos… But as soon as I gave up trying to be something or do something I thought I wanted or was meant to be doing and accepted the fact that I had no control and had to just look for the gold in whatever the chaos threw at me… Well, it all got real juicy after that. And this feeling might not last forever. A curve ball is going to knock me down at some point. Nothing last forever after all. But while this feeling is here, I’m going with it. And am embracing it to the max… So, I’m taking a show to Edinburgh. It might bomb. It might be a smash hit. It might be somewhere in the middle. But whatever. The main thing is it is already achieving what I set out to do, which is to nourish the worldwide women’s web and inspire women to be their biggest bravest selves. And it is doing exactly that in my world… With bells on.

All one can do is take the next step and see where the journey ends up taking you. This journey has so far taken me to here. And I’ll keep sharing with you. All my truths, as they come up, and it might not be your cup of tea and fair enough if it isn’t. But if it is… Awesome…

And so here we go…

New Moon Musings

I worked out when I was young that confidence is free. I was born with a big bundle of it and I had extremely nourishing parents who didn’t douse the flames of my precociousness but fanned them. Literally, they are my biggest fans. And I realise I’ve been apologising for this all my life. Who am I to be this cocky and confident? I must play myself down so as not to seem arrogant. This is the first time I’ve ever written anything like this, let alone shared it, for fear of being ridiculed. The jibe I’ve heard the most throughout my life is “You love yourself”. When I went to drama school my principle said to me “You are a big personality. When you walk in a room people notice you. But it takes a long time to learn how to live with a big personality, as sometimes you don’t want to be visible, but you don’t get that choice”. And I realised that I had to learn how to harness it for good. You see I was 100% certain that I was destined for greatness. There was not one shadow of a doubt in my mind. It’s so arrogant, but it’s true. BUT, I didn’t “make it”. I’m not a famous actress our novelist. I do act and have had books published, but my audiences for both are lean. I wise man once asked me “What kind of healer do you want to be? Do you want to be the big famous kind that everyone knows about and queues up to see? Or do you want to be the snake oil sideshow type that tricks people out of money? Or do you want to be a silent healer, who passes through the town, no one even knows they were there, but in the morning they wake and find they’ve all been healed?” It shook me up when he asked this. As a theatre maker I know that the greatest power is in working against your grain. And my natural grain would be to be the famous one. And my worst fear would be to be the snake oil dude. But my most powerful role, the one that runs against my grain, would be to be the silent healer. And it has felt like life has been grooming me for this ever since. For six years I went through a baptism of fire. The first seven years after my Saturn Returns, aged 28 to 35, I sat deep in depression. I had failed at everything that I had thought was meant for me. I wasn’t famous. I was working in a call centre. I had no money. No prospects. And then my husband and I discovered we couldn’t have children. I’d never wanted children, but as my body clock started ticking I began to grow interested, and then I thought “Well I’ve failed at my destiny, might as well just have kids then.” And then discovered that plan B was also not an option. We did IVF three times, which was horrific. I over stimulated and had a nervous breakdown from hormone overdosing. I put on lots of weight. Nearly all my friends had children, including those who did IVF. And I completely melted down. I thought of suicide every single day. Then, aged 35, after we found out that the last round of IVF hadn’t worked and that adopting probably isn’t going to work for us as we are so skint and don’t live very stable lives, we decided to stop trying. To not have kids. I stepped over from being childless to being child free. It’s a subtle difference in semantics, but a huge difference in being. And suddenly my life bloomed. I started working in theatre again as a producer, and a book I’d written when I was 28 and going through may Saturn Returns called The Girl Who’ll Rule the World (Ha!) resurfaced with three strangers finding copies of it and urging me to get it published. The first publisher I sent it to said “yes”, which was awesome. They then also published my second book Never Worn, which I wrote at 35 about my IVF experiences. They’ve become part of a series called Saturn Returns. I plan to write a book every seven years until I die. And then I started performing in the theatre again after years of not being on the stage. I’m doing it, I’ve been showing up. It is no longer about fame. I’m too old now to be the ingénue. I’m 40 on new year’s eve… I’m older than J.K. Rowlings was when she had her first Harry Potter hit. I make work and some people see. Some people read it. But not very many. Who knows though, perhaps when I die something will happen with my books that I can have no idea about now. I’m pretty sure my path is to be the silent healer. And yet it is also hard to keep motivated. I’m taking this new show Sisterhood to Edinburgh and I feel super exposed about doing it and I’ve spent soooo much money on it and ticket sales are not great at the moment. None of the venues, who I’m friends with from the other shows I’ve produced, are coming to see it, which is heart breaking. No press are booked in to see it. I feel like I’m about to be humiliated before the whole industry that I work in and I’m terrified. Utterly utterly terrified.

Here is my oracle card reading:

What needs to go in order for me to gain?

Shaman – The card asks what is your Shaman Power… My power is inspiration. My rune is ING. The seed of transformation. My name before I got married was Jolie Pierce, which means pretty penetration! I’ve got a lot of male energy in me. Kriya is the moment when we break karma and change our patterns. That’s what I called my company. This is what fuels me. It’s what has made me show up for twenty years, creating, making, training, learning, transforming. I’ve been giving SHE everything I’ve got. And I’m shattered. And skint. And nothing I’ve done has really amounted to anything. Except for when I produce for other people. The theatre projects I’ve supported as a producer, who I’ve put my engine behind, have flown. They’re now famous! And we’ve done some real good in the world. I realised I didn’t need to worry about being an actress or an artist. I am an artist. What I need to worry about is how to make this world a better place, using the tools I have, which is being an artist. And I can move mountains when I think something is doing good. But when I’m sharing myself I feel like a clown in giant clown shoes who keeps falling on their face. But if I’m doing it for someone else then I’ll smash it for them. Partly because I’m embarrassed when it’s my own stuff. Yet I know I’m working as hard as I can. This is as good as I currently get. Maybe I need a producer to help me, as at the moment I’m trying to do everything myself? That’s probably it to be honest. Or that I shouldn’t be an artist myself. But writing that just made me burst into tears. I love creating and I love being an artist. I want to share myself with the world. It just feels so unacknowledged.

Where does my current greatest stress occur?

Passion – Wow. Reading the passion card is ripping me apart. It’s telling me to keep following my passion. I want to. That’s exactly what I want to do. Thank you SHE. Literally flooding with tears right now. I needed to hear this. I’ve just felt so alone. I’ve been showing up and showing up. But this… This makes me feel like I’m not alone. I do need to keep going. SHE wants me to. Gosh that went so deep. I really needed to hear that.

What is the final outcome?

Compassion – Now I’m laughing and crying. It’s telling me to put the stick down and stop bashing myself with it. I’m such a f**king Capricorn. I’ll put the stick down. Gee whiz. Okay. Sorry about that. I’m off to eat a carrot.

Sisterhood is performing at:

Previews: Omnibus Theatre, Clapham – 17th & 18th July @7.30pm

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Pleasance Beneath, 1st – 26th August, @12.45pm

Help get Sisterhood on the road by supporting our Kickstarter.