THE MP, AUNTY MANDY & ME
The MP, Aunty Mandy & Me is a new one-man play written and performed by Rob Ward. It was produced by Emmerson & Ward in association with Curve, Leicester and presented as part of De Montfort University Pride 2020.
A bittersweet and darkly comic tale of political campaigns, coercive abuse and steam trains. The MP, Aunty Mandy & Me explores power and manipulation through a queer voice from the #MeToo movement.
Meet Dom. He is trying to live his best instagay life but it isn’t easy living with his drug addict mum in a small rural town in the North of England, where the nearest gay is 10 miles away. He goes to the gym but never gets laid in the shower, he uses all the right hashtags but can’t top 100 likes and while he really wants a boyfriend, he just can’t find a gay man that shares his love of trains.
But a chance meeting leads Dom into the world of the local Labour MP who becomes Dom’s mentor and confidant. The MP makes Dom feel good. He makes him feel very good. And for all the confidence this unusual new friendship gives him, surely its worth giving certain things back in return? Even if these are certain things that he doesn’t really want to give.
I created the sound design entirely from recordings of steam trains, the central character Dom’s passion, interwoven with the music of Simply Red, his mother’s favourite band. The steam train sounds become scene transitions, character themes, underscore and aural metaphors for panic attacks, dog fetish role-play and sexual encounters. The music is distorted and transformed to immerse the audience in the MDMA fueled word of Dom’s mother’s addiction and his own experiences of fetish clubs and coercive sex.
The MP, Aunty Mandy & Me premiered at Curve Studio, Leicester on 3rd and 4th March 2020. Restaged at 10 Dome – Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 3-21 August. English tour Autumn 2022: Curve Leicester, Birmigham Rep, Hope Mill Theatre Manchester, Staffordshire University, Blackpool Grand, York Theatre Royal, Hull Truck Theatre, Sheffield Theatres, Norwich Theatre Royal, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Harrogate Theatre, and Dukes Theatre Lancaster. 2023: International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Crewe Lyceum and Kings Head Theatre. London.