One to One with Che Wigfield-Turner
We’re so proud that our own Che Whigfield-Turner is staging her show Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt? here at the LBT. It’s particularly special for us as we’ve been able to see Che’s talent blossom: from being a key member of our Young Company, to being a part of our Christmas pantomime, to being our first young person to complete a Gold Level Arts Award from Trinity College, London
Special Projects Producer, Rebecca Winwood got a chance to chat with Che ahead of her show to find out what makes her tick and what’s next in her exciting journey.
Rebecca: You were a part of our Young Company here at the LBT from age 13. Why do you think theatre is important for young people?
Che: I think it’s very important as it allows young people to express themselves, and explore topics that they may otherwise not have thought about. I also think that theatre is a really important and powerful way of conveying messages, and therefore, theatre can educate people. Theatre should be diverse and should be open to anybody. It should allow young people to mix with people that they may not necessarily meet and is a way for them to network and connect with other like-minded people. Whether you watch theatre or are actively involved in it, it has a huge impact.
So what inspires you in your own creative work?
I have always said that I want to change the world through performance and I have been inspired by everything I see around me. I was bullied in school, but I wanted to take a positive message from this. Therefore, I created music around my experience, and I used my songs as a way of expressing emotions and passing on a message to these people that everyone should be allowed to have individuality and not be insulted for being themselves. From then onwards, I have begun to realise the power of performance and have been more inspired to make theatre which is controversial and really sends strong messages and ideas.
So give us a little bit about your new show
I will be performing a one-woman show called Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt?. It is written by Claire Dowie. All money raised will go towards helping me fund my 2nd year at Drama College as I am currently living away from home in Salford in order to study acting.
Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt? finds the perfect balance between comedy and raw emotion, challenging gender stereotypes. The play follows the story of a young Sheffield girl who is desperate to break free from the norms of society, not wanting to conform and wear the compulsory school skirt. She wants to play football, climb trees and do everything else that ‘boys’ are allowed to do.
This one-woman play is a journey of courage, resistance, and strength, intermingled with live music, featuring many John Lennon classics.
So what’s next for you?
I’m hoping to have a career within the performing arts industry as an actor/musician. I am also very keen on directing and script writing. I intend to make political theatre, which addresses hard hitting topics, that are not always explored. I see both theatre and music as incredibly powerful ways of communicating social messages and conveying strong emotions. My main aim is to make influential theatre, that inspires people, is inclusive and reaches out to all audiences. I recently organised and hosted two debates, questioning the truth in the statement ‘The Performing Arts Industry is a Meritocracy’, alongside guest speakers Julie Hesmondhalgh and Maxine Peake. I intend to continue this work and focus on establishing myself within the industry. I have so many ideas and plans for the future – I can’t wait to get to work.
Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt? will be presented at the LBT on Wednesday 10 October at 7.45pm in the Cellar Theatre. Tickets can be purchased here.
Discounts available for current members of LBT Youth Theatre.