Delving into some dark places
This article is from 2010.
One of the most talked-about British debuts of 2010 was Emily Mackie’s And This is True. It featured a 15-year-old boy Nevis and his author dad Marshall who carried on their passive existence living in and out of a white Ford Transit van. Since his mother left the family home when he was four, it’s all Nevis has known. He appears withdrawn and curious, but when he starts planting kisses on his sleeping father’s mouth and observing his dad pleasuring himself, their relationship is never the same again. ‘I’ve got an older brother but there’s none of him in Nevis. There’s a little bit more of me in there, in the way that he thinks, not the bits about his attraction to the father but his observations are a little bit like mine at that age.’
For a debut, it’s a bold area to be delving into, but Mackie has the confidence of having written stories from the moment she was able to put a concentrated pen to paper. Her first play was written at the age of nine and not long after that she was churning out short stories and dabbling in novels. The darkness she explores in And This is True is reflected in the books she adores. ‘Wuthering Heights is my favourite book; I loved the dark demonic love. And I love The Tin Drum, with its crossover between fantasy and realism.’
21 Aug (with Robert Williams), 4.30pm, £7 (£5).