Sky Blue will be granting the wish of terminally ill playwright Anne Bartram by producing her first full length comedy at Camden People’s Theatre, London. That Catholic Thing is inspired by Anne’s own experiences of disability and views of religion.
With the help of Mini Mammoth film makers we made a Kickstarter page where we’re offering all kinds of goodies to help raise money to get the play funded. The making of the video for this was one of the hardest bits of filming we’ve ever done. It’s so difficult to speak candidly about loved one’s terminal illness with them. We hope that what we have put together will not only work for us to achieve our goal but help people think about their bucket lists and maybe ask their loved ones what they would like to do with the time they have left.
Anne’s health started to fail more than twenty years ago when she was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, followed by Hairy Cell Leukaemia and Fibromyalgia. From working full time in her dream job as a teacher she found herself consigned to a wheelchair and working part-time until she was forced to give up teaching altogether. It was at this very low point that her late father inspired her to volunteer with a youth group, writing and directing, encouraging young people to work in the theatre industry.
In 2015 Anne was diagnosed with Myeloma cancer and with the single bucket list wish of seeing one of her own plays in production, Sky Blue felt it was time to give her something back. The hiring of the theatre alone costs in excess of £6000 because we had to hire a wheelchair accessible venue (so Anne can get in too!) for four weeks so critics will assess the play (part of Anne’s bucket wish list).
I know I can speak for Anne when I say that this kind of thing is worth fighting for. Struggling with terminal illness is a sorrowful feeling no words can evoke. Making entertainment at a time like this is so important and we should never neglect those kinds of dreams from happening. Without theatre there’s a lot less to smile over.
This is not a sob story but the best way we can think of spending the time with her. Time that would be otherwise spent prematurely grieving and Anne left thinking if only she had more time. We have time now so were using it to be the best we can.
If you can help in any way by getting our story out there we would be incredibly grateful.