The Drift is a stunningly poignant journey through history, through Scottishness, identity, and grief. Writer and performer, Hannah Lavery, after her Edinburgh Fringe show has been picked up by the National Theatre of Scotland to tour this woefully nostalgic spoken word show.
Her autobiographical, poetic theatre explores her legacy and history of being “mixed” in Scotland, that legacy handed down by her father and grandmother and their respective journeys. An immersive, probing narrative of love, loss and bereavement, simultaneously challenging perceptions of being brought up mixed race in Scotland, The Drift opens the door to consider its great and not so great sides for anyone growing up non-white even in it’s urban capital.
Originally performed and developed as part of the Flint and Pitch New Voices programme (produced & programmed by Jenny Lindsay), before being further developed as part of the Workers Theatre Megaphone Residency and finally through the National Theatre of Scotland’s Just Start Here Festival and Engine Room programme – all under the mentorship and direction of Jenny Lindsay. It was last developed and performed as a preview at the Tron Theatre as part of Black History Month 2018 under the direction of Eve Nicol.
Evocative, progressive and steeped in pathos, the repition in writing adds substance to Hannah Lavery’s piece. Balanced, yet emotional, The Drift highlights the blacks, the whites and the greys in the complexities of life, as she explores her journey, and sadly the frustration and upset that she still faces with her son growing up in a Scotland that has yet to shake itself of all racism.
Lavery’s performance within the setting of a simple home, rug and armchair, and box of old photos, is powerful, bold and yet the subtle vexations in her demeanour render this work relative. Her monologue is provocative, and certainly provokes a tear, as we listen to both the joy and the sadness that came from her relationship with her father. Inwardly reflective, expressing her rage and anger, as well as her love, Lavery effectively expresses the twists and turns that come with real life, and her processes in thinking, and dealing with grief.
Touching, moving, The Drift is soused in poignancy, and identity-politics.