“My name is Annie. I am eighteen years old. One anonymous Wednesday I was taken to hell and back by a bomber who decided to blow himself up in the name of his religion… This is my story.”
LISTENING, the one-woman play by Australian born Nellie McQuinn will appear on a London stage next month, as a personal tribute to her best friend, Christie Cunningham, who died when she was sixteen.
McQuinn wrote, produced and will perform in the production, which will make its worldwide premiere as part of the Camden Fringe Festival in August.
McQuinn says the piece is “a powerful meditation on saying goodbye and coming to terms with death” and was originally written as a 10-minute piece for Nellie’s final HSC drama exam. Not long after performing it in 2003, Nellie left Sydney and travelled to London to pursue her dream of performing.
“In hindsight it was a massive move to make at the age of 17,” the Aussie playwright told Australian Times. “I don’t think I realised just how far away from family and friends London was. I’ve missed a lot of big things, birthdays, funerals and now my friends are all starting to get married which is really hard. Unfortunately I can’t make it back all the time! It’s worth it though. There’s no way I could do what I do back home.”
McQuinn has certainly carved a career for herself during her eight years living here. She has worked professionally in film, television and theatre and last year graduated from the prestigious RADA. In between all of that, she has managed to set up her own production company, Grass Roots Media. The company has had huge success with their online series ‘The London Affair’ (which McQuinn also co-wrote, produced and starred in). It launched online to 2 million viewers, breaking records in the process. Nellie has produced and written several other films that have had success in film festivals worldwide.
She is hoping that Listening, when it premieres in August, will have the same success. The story has been playing on her mind for nearly a decade.
“It’s such a personal story for me, having been influenced strongly by a difficult time in my life. It’s been a voice that’s been waiting to come out! Now it’s out there I just hope I can do it justice and make everyone back home proud.”
Don’t miss Listening at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 13 — 18 August