A Perfect World

I’m currently doing some R and D for a new show. It’s called “A Perfect World” and it will hopefully tour in 2022. “A Perfect World” will explore ideas about gender, sexuality and identity – and will celebrate the everyday activists, champions and change-makers who take action (large or small) towards a fairer society for everyone.

As part of my research, I’ve been exploring LGBTIQA+ myths and folktales, with researcher Joseph Thompson. Together, we’ve found some fantastic stories from a range of different times and places and I’ve worked with artist Emma Adams to create a set of postcards inspired by these tales.

We’ve been sharing these with LGBTIQA+ groups and individuals across the North of England and asking people to share their responses to them. You can order a set of postcards by emailing me at: matthew@somestories.co.uk You can also find them online here, as a set of downloadable PDFs:

View the postcard gallery :: Download as PDFs

I’m keen to find out what other people think and feel about the ideas that they contain. To this end, I’m asking people to send me their responses to the stories and images on the cards. I’ve chosen tales from the past and present. Memoir, myth and factual stories all feature. It’s a buffet of ideas, so I hope something here will catch your fancy.

Each set of postcards contains a blank, pre-stamped card which you can use to respond. You can also respond directly via the email address above.

Some prompts for responding:

The stories on these cards feature moments of tenderness, connection and transformation. In responding to them, it might be useful to think about the following:

    • A moment in your life when you realised that something needed to change.
    • A moment in your life when something changed for the better.
    • Something you may have done which improved things for you or other people.
    • A time when you experienced a moment of connection or tenderness.

Feel free to respond to these cards in any way you like. You could draw a picture, write a poem, describe how they make you feel, tell a story or ask a question in return. There isn’t a right or wrong way to respond.

It may be that some of the responses people give become a part of the show that I’m making. If you’re happy for that to happen (I won’t reveal your name), please confirm by ticking the box on the postcard, or letting me know in the email you send.

As a “thank you” for your thoughts, I’d love to tell you a fuller version of one of these stories (either on the phone or through Zoom) and chat a bit more about the project. If this is something that you would be up for, please add your contact details to the response card before returning it or let me know via email.

Thank you!

Matthew and the team.

PS: There’s recording of me telling one of the stories here:

Right-click here and choose ‘save’ to download the audio file (MP3)

It’s called The Girl Who Was A Boy. This is a story that originates in Romania. Like all folk tales it has been told and retold many times. I came across it when my friend Joe showed me a modern retelling by Paul B Sturtevant. This in turn was based on a version by Leonora Blanche Alleyne. This was translated from a French version by Jules Brun which may in turn have been based on a version collected and written down by Petre Ispirescu.  Links below:

Petre Ispirescu

Jules Brun: Original French version   English Translation

Leonora Blanche Alleyne

Paul B. Sturtevant

Research and Development for “A Perfect World” has been funded by Arts Council England and Leeds Inspired and supported by Waterside Arts Centre, Harrogate Theatre, Bradford Producing Hub and Pyramid of Arts.