The writer chatted to us about bringing her play Bump to the Kiln Theatre’s Mapping Brent Festival on the 18th April.

Hi Sonia, thanks so much for talking to me. Could you tell me a bit more about what Bump is about? The Bump cast and team have been working together since October last year. Some have been working together since 2014. Some are related. This is what is so special about working with community groups like the Neasden Young Company. The shared history is deep and rich and informs the work you make together. Like in Bump, rehearsals would often start with talking. They’d talk about the time someone stole the last slice of pizza at a party, or the funny security guard at the community centre, or the time one of them got an allergic reaction to a Quality Street. They’d talk and I’d listen (and sometimes get over excited and try to get involved). But that’s what Bump has become. A big exploration of personal taste in a quest to find out who we are and who we’re going to become. But most importantly it’s a party. It’s eating fried chicken, it’s dancing to Candy and it’s a lot of reminiscing.

How did the idea for the play come about? I noticed that we talked a lot about memories and that there was a surprising feeling of nostalgia in the group, surprising because I don’t think adults expect teenagers to be nostalgic for the past when so much of their daily life is focused on the future.So I started doing a bit of reading around teenagers and memory and came across something called the reminiscence bump – the tendency for older adults to remember more from their teenage years and early adulthood than any other time in their life. There are lots of theories as to why this is and we became interested in the idea that it’s because a lot of this period is about forming your identity – your likes and your dislikes. And if there’s one thing we know in the Neasden Young Company, it’s what we like and what we don’t. We like mac and cheese, we don’t like risotto, we like Splattegories, we don’t like Zip Zap Boing, we like Level Up, we don’t like Cha Cha Slide. This list goes on and on and I’ve lost track.

By Emma Clarendon

Bump will play as part of Mapping Brent at The Grange Business Hub, Neasden Lane, on the 18th April.