THE ARCHIVE OF EDUCATED HEARTS
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide ★★★★★ Broadway Baby ★★★★★ Eventalaide ★★★★★ Tulpa★★★★★ This Is Radelaide ★★★★★ Fringe Biscuit ★★★★★ All Over Adelaide
★★★★★ Within Her Words ★★★★½ Glam Adelaide ★★★★ The Scotsman ★★★★ Fest ★★★★ The List ★★★★ Ed Fest Mag ★★★★ 5mbs ★★★★ Fringe Guru ★★★★ Three Weeks
★★★★ Edinburgh Guide ★★★★ Sunday Mail ★★★★ Great Scott ★★★★ Adelaide Theatre Guide ★★★★ The Barefoot Review ★★★★ Kryztoff Raw ★★★★ Spy In The Stalls
Fringe First Award (The Scotsman, 2018)
Best Theatre Award (Adelaide Fringe BankSA Weekly Awards, 2019)
Critic's Choice (National Scot, 2019)
Long-listed for the Old Vic 12 (Writing Category, 2017)
The Scotsman’s “Top 10 Returning Shows of the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe”
The Scotsman’s “10 MUST-SEE Theatre Shows” of the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Scotsman’s “Top 4 Shows To See in Under an Hour”
Sell-Out Show Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 & 2019
THE ARCHIVE OF EDUCATED HEARTS is crafted from true stories of families facing breast cancer. It is about the legacies we leave in the lives of the people we love. It is told through a mixture of autobiographical storytelling, verbatim interviews, and a sprawling photo album chronicling the lives of four women. I keep referring to it as Documentary Theatre because that feels most fitting; the collection of stories is told first hand through recorded interviews with women who have been affected by breast cancer: Emma Cairns, Auriole Wells, Karen Baker (my Auntie) and Dorothy Washer (My Nan, aka Nanny Dot). They each talk openly about their experiences of kindness, grief, love, guilt and gratitude in the face of adversity. Between their interviews I tell my family's story: I wanted to write this play because my mum is one of four sisters who all have (or have had) breast cancer, I set out to write a show about a disease, but the result was a show about family, about living without regrets, cherishing the people you care about, the mark we leave on the people we love, the mark they leave on us, and making space for both joy and grief.
It debuted at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in a second hand garden shed at the back of the Pleasance Courtyard where it won a Fringe First Award.
Scrawled diary entries, answer-phone messages blinking on an old landline, a shoebox of postcards & cassette tapes winding stories across years & continents. How do you measure the remarkable moments that make up a lifetime? Fragments of pure joy & incomprehensible heartbreak punctuate stories of kindness & courage.
Written & Directed by Casey Jay Andrews
With special thanks to: Emma Cairns, Auriole Wells, Karen Baker and Dorothy Washer who all contributed their personal stories to create this show with me.
Music by George Jennings
Voice over: Michael Cochrane
The Archive is dedicated to the memory of Emma Cairns, who never had the chance to see the show, but whose kindness, generosity and love sit firmly at the heart of this story.
Alongside the project I worked in partnership with Worldwide Breast Cancer and Coppafeel! on breast self-examination initiatives to increase early detection; our goal was to equip people with the information they need to help catch breast cancer early. Coppafeel provided breast check materials for every single audience member to come through The Archive, and I worked with Worldwide Breast Cancer to create the #KnowYourLemons booth: a completely free step-by-step guide to breast examination in the privacy of the Archive, delivered by a custom created audio guide from Worldwide Breast Cancer.
Where possible I will also be using The Archive to support the "Emma Cairns Bursary", a bursary scheme providing students facing financial difficulties a place on the Ufton Drama Summer School, where Emma taught between 1996 - 2016. Emma was my secondary school Drama teacher, and this summer school is at the heart of why I began writing and making theatre; I couldn't imagine a more fitting way to thank Emma for being a part of "The Archive". Reflecting the core ethos of the Summer School and mirroring some of Emma's most admirable qualities, of integrity, honesty and fairness, the bursaries are available for any students who feel that they are unable to meet the cost of a course and who require some financial assistance. Alumni include: Josh O'Connor (The Crown, God's Own Country, The Durrels, Florence Foster Jenkins, Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders, Riot Club), Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn, Blue Stockings, Thomas Tallis, The Secret Garden), David Colbourn (Sherlock, Doctors), Nicola Cutcher (Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad, Panorama, News Night, Dumbshow Theatre)... and me!