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Tayla Kenyon and James Piercy - Fluff Interview

When it comes to the end of your life, what will you remember?

Fluff, a one woman show, tells the story of an imperfect woman navigating her way through life’s challenges; finding love, chasing her dreams, dealing with a sick parent and the threat of inheriting the same illness. The play asks us to reflect on the paths we take in life and the people we spend our limited time on earth with.

The show is performed by Tayla Kenyon who co-wrote the piece with James Piercy. The duo discussed the show with me ahead of playing in Birmingham.

What inspired the creation of the piece?
Firstly, the simple need to create something, anything. We started working on ‘Fluff’ in the tail end of the lockdown – and it was so exciting to be able to collaborate with someone again. 

After meeting via an online writing workshop, we discussed the idea of memory and how they are so often distorted. This led us onto the idea of the moments we remember in our lives and how we remember them. 

We quickly realised that we both wanted to create a show with a female character who was complex, layered yet relatable at the centre, and naturally you start with what you know and who you know - the women in our own lives. So, I guess you can say some of the inspiration for the show were the funny, complex, intelligent women we know and love. Hi, Mum. 
How did you approach navigating the topics including dementia and intergenerational trauma when writing the show?
We spoke openly and honestly with each other about our own struggles – our own families and friends. We learnt that we had a lot of shared experiences that linked with intergenerational trauma and it's always cathartic to take your own pain and put it into something that might ultimately help others. Tayla’s granddad had dementia, so there is some of her own experience in the writing too. We also did a lot of research in order to understand the topics and the effects they have on people. The charities were super helpful in supplying information to. It is really important for us that Fluff is a truthful depiction of this. 
You've worked closely alongside charities Breakthrough UK, Alzheimer's Society and Herts Musical Memories, how important was that for you?
It was extremely important. These charities do such fine work helping those in need. Their insight and compassion are inspiring to us. We wanted the project to be more than just a play and to give back to the community and we work with the charities' to not only raise awareness and funds but also give guidance. Some of the things explored may be upsetting and identifiable for audience members so it was also important for us to give information that can help to audience members- which these charities have supplied us with. The charities in particular have such direct links to the world of the play, for example Herts Musical Memories which does fantastic work using music to aid those with dementia, which mirror’s Fluff’s dad’s relationship with music. 

What do you want an audience to take away from seeing the show?
That life is short – it can feel long at times, I’m sure. But we only have a limited time with each other and we need make it count. The aim of the play is to ask the audience to reflect on their choices in life and level of empathy, care. Every action leads to a consequence. 

What shows/performances have inspired you?
Both of us are big fans of Willy Russell’s writing and Shirley Valentine was a huge inspiration for us when we were writing the show. It’s charming and funny – but ultimately, it’s about this brilliant woman looking back over her life, and the choices she’s made and deciding to move forward with grace and dignity. The recent production with Sheridan Smith was a masterclass on how one person can own a stage. Likewise, Maureen Lipman in the production ‘Rose’ showed how simple storytelling can be truly captivating. 
Can you describe the show in 3 words?
Cathartic, provocative, warm.
A Must See? ;)

Fluff plays at Birmingham’s Blue Orange Theatre on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th July. Tickets are available from

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