This piece takes its name from John Donne’s poem of the same name. I checked my emails on the way home from a conference on antibiotic resistance and there was a round robin email asking for my favourite poem. I sent them ‘A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning’, a beautiful, clever poem in which Donne argues that love
creates a connection between people that is unbreakable.
At one point he uses the image of a thread of gold that runs from one to the other: I’ve used this image with
my children when they didn’t want me to go away, and I think of this thread often
when I’m far from my loved ones.
It’s comforting, because it allows me to feel a connection. That connection, that pulling on the heart strings, is what this piece is about. That, and the fast-approaching horror of the post-antibiotic era, where people will die from previously minor ailments.
What strikes me most about this awful prospect is that it doesn’t make sense: we are programmed to believe things get better, not worse. So how do we cope when they don’t? How do we cope when we lose
someone we love, especially if it’s a loss that seems unfair or illogical?
We mostlyaccept nowadays that talking is helpful, but what if that goes against our instincts? And if talking about it is helpful, who should we be talking to? These are the questions at the heart of this piece.
THE WRITER – KATY WALKER
I moved from budget Chaucer and temping to film PR, and then got sidetracked into teaching and having children.
I played about with writing for a long time before finally getting on with it, and am now trying to make up for lost time.
I’ve been commissioned by Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Menagerie Theatre and have written several plays for schools, been shortlisted for the C4 Screenwriting Course and the Arvon/Jerwood mentoring scheme, and been a winner of the Kenneth Branagh New Drama Award and semi-finalist in the Screenwriting Goldmine Awards.
THE ACTOR – FINTY WILLIAMS
Finty had a recurring role in the TV series Born and Bred, and voices the titular character in the animated children’s series Angelina Ballerina. She has also worked in the theatre in plays such as Party Piece with Richard Harris, and in audiobook narration, such as Sophie Kinsella‘s I’ve Got Your Number. Most recently she has been in Blithe Spirit at the Mill Theatre, Sonning.
Other credits include – Film – The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1993), The Secret Rapture (1993), Mrs. Brown (1997), Gosford Park (2001), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) Ladies in Lavender (2004), Even Girls Cry Sometimes (2009), Delicious (2013)
Television – The Torch (1992), Tales from the Crypt (1996), Wives and Daughters (1999) Angelina Ballerina (2001) – Angelina Mouseling and Mrs Hodgepodge, Courage the Cowardly Dog (2002) – Tulip (uncredited), Born and Bred, Cranford (2007)