Precious Little Talent
This article is from 2009.
Playwright Ella Hickson is living proof of the fact that Scotland’s got talent. Anna Millar meets her
It may be the title of her latest show, but Precious Little Talent is not a description you could apply to writer Ella Hickson. The surprise darling of last year’s Fringe, her stunning, emotionally ferocious debut show Eight garnered her plaudits galore – not to mention Fringe First and Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ awards – before embarking on successful outings in New York, and more recently, the West End. Not bad going for a girl who happily admits she accepted her slot at the Bedlam Theatre, with five weeks till curtain up, without having put pen to paper.
A first-time writer Hickson, fresh out of university, would create eight slick monologues offering a state-of-the-nation showcase, providing a voice to everyone from an upper class prostitute to a 7/7 survivor. It’s Hickson’s fascination with the apathy and trials of her generation, which has largely inspired this year’s outing. ‘There’s a lack of people writing intelligently about who we are and what we are about,’ she says of her twenty-something generation.
Precious Little Talent, inspired by her time in the States promoting Eight, tells of a young girl’s trip to New York to spend time with her Father and the man she meets there; it’s suitably of the moment, addressing the recession, Anglo-American relations and the great ray of hope himself, Barack Obama.
‘It’s just such an inspirational place to go; it allows you a freedom to step back and look,’ says Hickson. ‘I was looking at friends back home and realised that my generation is having to face up to its own mediocrity pretty quickly. We were told, “Get a good education, a degree, and your life will be sorted”, but that’s just not the case anymore. We’re a generation fighting not to be forgotten and I wanted to address that.’
Precious Little Talent, Bedlam Theatre, 225 9893, 10–29 Aug (not 16, 23 Aug), 2.30pm, £8.50 (£6.50). Previews 6–8 Aug, £7 (£5).