In my work (as a writer and literature development professional) I talk a lot about the power of literature when you come across something that speaks directly to you. It’s funny how you can say things over and over and then be surprised all over again when it happens to you.
Speechless, in the Purcell room last night, was a fantastic show, and a brilliant piece of directing that brought such disparate and talented voices together into a coherent whole. The highlight though, for me, was Jacob Sam la Rose’s final piece. He took us through the journey from poet foisted on reluctant teenagers in a school classroom – ‘we’re the thick ones, sir, why have they given you to us?’ – to the fire in a boy’s eyes when he hears himself as though for the first time, when his voice is given value, given back to him. I have been managing writing and education projects for over 7 years now. I have seen that journey happen again and again, it is why I do what I do. To hear it, framed in such perfect language, and given back to me from the stage, was a really powerful experience. Thank you, Jacob.