Writer & Director - Tanya Alexander

“I always wanted to change the world but I’m too forgetful to be Prime Minister. Writing is a good second best.”

Tanya Alexander

 

Shining a torch into the dark backstairs of our lives and blocking our exit via the fire escape, Tanya Alexander is on a determined mission to expose the truth in all its glaring neon lit complexity.

Inspired by the snippets of conservation she heard in local tearooms, Tanya’s latest work and first full length play ‘Tearoom’ lays bare the deeply contradictory ways in which humans can love and the lengths to which we can go to shy away from fears we try and hide deeply from ourselves.

Often, the most compelling conversations Tanya overheard revolved around relationships that were going through some sort of change or challenge, while some conversations were fascinating just because they revealed how two people sitting at the same table didn’t always know each other very well.

How we love and how that manifests itself in our relationships were themes that then seemed to echo around the tearoom characters that presented themselves to Tanya, raising the question of how we truly balance honouring ourselves whilst also loving others.

“Pursuing truth is the whole point of my work” explains Tanya. “To explore the dark and hidden spaces in our lives in an honest way is so important because we live so much in them, make decisions from them, and try to relate to others from them, yet we don’t talk about them.”

“Shame is such a massive issue in people’s lives, we hide when we feel the truth is unacceptable, but this means our decisions are made from a place of falsehood. To love unconditionally is to be in a state of grace, it changes our world, and ever since I was small I wanted to change the world, but I’m too forgetful to be Prime Minister – so this is a good second best.”

Tanya’s greatest hope for her audiences is that they will take away from ‘Tearoom’ a sense of connectedness and reassurance that none of us are ever alone in our strange, odd and complicated human existence.

Tanya’s own strange, odd and complicated human existence began in Torquay in 1972. At the age of three she ‘wrote’ her first story.

Unable to yet write, the story was dictated by an excited toddling Tanya to a patient family friend. “It was only when I had learned to read I later went rushing back to the notebook only to realise the family friend had only been pretending to write it down. I was devastated!” laughs Tanya, but she has been writing ever since.

Also an accomplished actress, Tanya has enjoyed the challenge of playing characters from all walks and eras of life, as truthfully as possible of course. Most recently, she played Joy in Shadowlands, Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

Tanya directed a sell out tour of ‘Tearoom’ across Dorset last April, and has, amongst others, directed Honour for Bournemouth Little Theatre Company, My Mother Said I never Should and Death and the Maiden, both for ImpAct Theatre and both winning Best Drama Curtain Call Awards.

The Fringe production of ‘Tearoom’ will see Tanya take to both directing and acting in the same play, but luckily her forgetful memory allows her to compartmentalise so she can focus on each task as it comes.

Laughing in the face of a good night’s sleep, Tanya will next be directing Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, for Brownsea Open Air Theatre in 2012.

Tanya would like to express her deep, heartfelt thanks to her children, who taught her that there are whole different kinds of love with unique boundaries to explore, and to her husband, Matt, for so much; but especially for his great cooking, which he has now had plenty of opportunity to practice. Tearoom would not have been written without his support and encouragement.