This Sh*t Happens All The Time: The Writer's Story
Tue Mar 29 2022
Writer Amanda Verlaque discusses the real-life experiences that inspired her new one-woman play 'This Sh*t Happens All The Time'.
"This Sh*t Happens All The Time relates to an incident when I was an undergraduate at Queen’s and the target of a homophobic hate crime. It was 1992, when this term didn’t exist or the laws now created to protect me, which meant there was no support to help me through the ordeal. Queens, like most universities, was years away from offering specialised help and support, so I was put through the emotional ringer until I decided that I wasn't going to live in fear and that I had nothing to be ashamed of. It was an empowering moment for me when I embraced these truths.
This play lasts an hour yet it took 30 years to write. Not that I was working on it for three decades. The immediate after-effects of the hate crime were buried. I got on with my life and tucked the incident away in my head but it was always there, the injustice of it, so I knew I had to do something but I didn’t know what. What followed was a long percolation period. When I kept a promise to myself to be a writer instead of thinking about becoming a writer, this incident was front and centre.
I tried dramatising the incident as a screenplay, a radio play and a short story but I kept coming back to a stage play because there’s nothing as immediate or intimate as live theatre. Once the incident was cemented as a monologue a team of talented people including director Rhiann Jeffrey, actress Caoimhe Farren and the amazing creatives at The Lyric brought it to life. I knew with these people on board I could connect audiences with my lived experience all those years ago while also addressing the major concerns I have for the LGBTQ+ community."
'This Sh*t Happens All The Time' runs at the Lyric's Naughton Studio until 2 April. Tickets start from just £12 and are available here.