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LINK UP artist Roma Havers shares a bit about their work ahead of LINK UP (25-26 November 2020)

With LINK UP just a few days away, we had a quick chat, (via email – all safe and socially distanced!) with some of the artists who will be having conversations and sharing their creative processes during this mini-festival.

First up is Roma Havers – Hi Roma!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work as an artist?

I’m Roma, I’m a poet,  theatre-maker and tiger-mum-editor. I love to make meaning work a bit harder than it wants to. At the moment my work revolves around the questions of queer inheritance, what it means to practise, and radicalising queer joy.
This year I’ve:
  • Produced a LGBT writers online Festival in My House with Manchester International Festival called ‘Paying Attention’
  • Written and performed OUTscription a performance on queering the archive for Manchester Sexuality Summer School
  • Worked as a Conversation Captain with Art With Heart on the Dial project, making art and conversation with elders over the phone
  • Made a short radio play called Had Matters Tea Party for Superbia
  • Continued working with the organisation that gave me my first commissions, Young Identity, running workshops online, producing their launch for new book Working From HOME (available at HOME book shop!) and writing all the time, while working on my show LOB which is coming to Queer Contact 2021!

What three words would you use to describe the piece you’re working on?

Roma: Tennis Poetry Bonanza

Who is your guest for LINK UP and what led you to pick them as your particular guest for this event? 

My guest is my editing partner, dramaturg and friend Frankie Blaus. They are also a writer and poet in their own right, with A FUNERAL OF PLUMES AND LIGHT with the support of Young Identity coming to Push Festival at HOME 2021. I met them many years ago in a Young Identity workshop and earned their friendship by buying them a cake for their birthday. They’re behind the scenes on pretty much everything I make.

I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what dramaturgy is and the power dynamics that exist in an editorial relationship, I think it’s even more invisible in theatre where most people probably don’t even know it happens. Me and Frankie have a really great working relationship, they have done more to expand the possibilities of my writing than anyone else, and I wanted to put some of our conversations public, in the hope of changing the narrative around editing a bit.

What the most important thing that you’d like audiences to take away from LINK UP?

I hope to demystify the process a bit, but also show all the different kind of work that goes into making a show. We’ve lost a sense, or at least our government has, that art is work (of course it is also joy and love and a privilege to get to do) but it’s also of value in its making, and its makers too! I don’t want artists to disappear again, especially small artists like us. Plus I always love to show off talented friends who I think are underappreciated!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Roma!

You can still book tickets to Roma’s event Queering the Dramaturg: Roma Havers and Frankie Blaus in Conversation, which takes place Wednesday 25 November, 6.30pm over Zoom. Tickets £5 full price, £3 Under-35s, £2 Concessions (plus, you can buy all four LINK UP events for just £10!)