I’m lying in my bed at the Globe Inn feeling very alone. Starting to feel anxious and think it’s time for a nap. What am I doing? Does anyone care that I’m in Tamworth? Does it matter that they care? What is life without caring about others? Why am I here? Why should people care? I’m nervous. I’m nervous people won’t like my writing, I’m nervous it’ll bore people, I’m nervous to come off as pretentious, I’m worried it won’t be useful. I’m worried about being public and spamming people. I’m not sure if what I write will be interesting, I just wish more people loved reading, that it wasn’t odd to choose to spend your Friday night at a Frankenstein performance in a hotel in Tamworth.
For a moment, I wished I had someone, a partner, to experience and discuss this with, and was not alone in my vision. Then I remembered, I’m doing this to find my partner, to find my community; I am putting myself out there. I haven’t even attended an event yet. This is the beginning.
I ate dinner alone writing in my journal and trying not to spill on my new dress. I walked to the event admiring the beauty of St Editha’s. And then it all fell into place.
“Oh hello, where’s your ticket?”
“Well, I’m the blogger remem…”
“Of course! It’s the Literary Pixie. Welcome! Have a seat. Let me introduce you to Tina, the other director, as well as playwright of tonight’s performance.”
I went and sat down, had a chat with a couple who live in a village nearby. An ex-policeman. “I’ll tell ya, the Tamworth Castle is spooky at 3am.” And then, the performance began.
Oh it was wonderful. Mary Shelley introduced herself, alive again for this one night to share with us her Frankenstein for its 200th anniversary. I felt I was reliving the magic of reading the novel, the depth and eloquence and tragedy. The actors truly captured the anguish of Victor and the Monster, and the intelligence of Shelley. In her time, people denied her authorship of Frankenstein because they believed no young woman could have such dark and insightful thoughts about the nature of humankind. Fucking hell! That was 200 years ago! Have things even changed?!
Then Mary Shelley said goodbye. The lights went up, and I was alone on a Friday night in Tamworth.
But not for long. The couple next to me asked, “What did you think?” And then a couple I’d met at the Tamworth Heritage Trust came over and asked, “What did you think?” And then Anthony and Tina came over and asked, “What did you think?”
I told them I thought it was amazing and that it should go on tour to schools. Tina said, “You should tell the actors.” So I went and told the actors.
And they said, “Did you actually come up all the way from London?”
“Well, it’s not that far…only an hour on the train! And 5.30 one way, same as a pint in London!”
Then Sarra said, “I heard about you. I went into a cafe and was writing a table, and starting speaking to the waitress, and she said, ‘An eccentric American has come up all the way from London just to see your play!’’”
Huh. An eccentric American. I kinda liked it. At least I wasn’t boring.
Read the first part of my time in Tamworth and other articles