From Me to Us: UCEN Manchester tutor Wayne’s one man show
A tutor at The Arden School of Theatre has produced a one-man video performance detailing his journey to becoming a father as a single, gay man.
‘From Me to Us’, by Wayne Steven Jackson, Head of Theatre and Performance at The Arden, has been described as ‘an important project that provides the space for discussions about parenthood, whilst documenting the political change against a backdrop of autobiographical experiences’. Hosted by Contact Theatre, it premieres at 7.15pm on Thursday 12 November and will remain available to watch.
Talking about translating his experience into a video performance, Wayne said: "I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I realised I wanted to have children. I think I always put it to the back of my mind, because I was single, because I was gay. I mean, they are two pretty big barriers to traditional conception.
“I am a theatre-maker and I specifically make work around documenting, exploring and celebrating any social change. The law changed in January 2019 to allow for single parents to apply for parental orders for surrogacy. Before that point, people did go through surrogacy but the child wouldn’t have legally been there’s so they wouldn’t have been the legal parent.
“It was this huge, monumental change in law that I didn’t even know about; I wasn’t even aware that it was changing. When I found out about it, it just kind of made sense to me to make a piece that documents my experience against the backdrop of this huge shift that had happened in law for art purposes but also for education and information purposes.”
Following Thursday’s premiere, Wayne is working with the surrogacy charity Brilliant Beginnings to host a series of three screenings for people who are looking at single-parent surrogacy, or surrogacy and IVF surrogacy in general.
The main objective is to give people a genuine response to someone who’s going through something they might not have even known was an option for single people,
Wayne said. “The point about the film is that it’s not just for people who are looking at that specific surrogacy route. It’s about the relationships between parents and their children and someone exploring that transition of what it means to go from just looking after themselves to potentially being responsible for the wellbeing of somebody else."
The show was originally due to be performed in June at the Contact Theatre, but Wayne has now worked with videographer Ben Horrigan at Studio 91 Media to adapt the performance. Wayne has also collaborated with BAFTA and Academy Award winning composer Chris Benstead, who has worked on Hollywood hits such as Gravity, The Gentleman and the new James Bond title, No Time to Die.
For more information about Wayne’s previous work, including reviews, photographs, and videos, visit Wayne's his website here.