Why I’m unveiling 501 Things I Do In My Bedroom

Debut local playwright Nicola Wren explains why she’s about to stage a one-woman play at Camden’s Etcetera theatre

Each one of us has at least a handful of different identities existing at the same time within us: mother, sister, friend, lover, enemy, boss, employee. In fact, our lives seem to revolve around the way in which we are perceived by others.

That makes it difficult for us to find our own sense of identity, and to focus on what we want for ourselves rather than what is expected of us. To make matters even more complicated, we now have social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tinder constantly asking us to tell us what we ‘like’, what we think, what we feel, what we look like and to share it with the world. And we’ve become obsessed.

Dan Pick
‘At its heart it’s a tragedy.’ Photo: NW
It’s no longer enough just to look at a beautiful painting and admire it – we feel the need to post a picture of it online and then we feel disappointed if nobody ‘likes’ it. Through social media, each one of us is seeking validation and each one of us creates a persona that’s a direct representation of how we wish to be perceived by others.

All this has inspired 501 Things I Do In My Bedroom, a one-woman play, written and performed by yours truly. And this weekend will see its first performance in Camden Town, before I develop it over the next six months to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


So what’s it actually about? I want to explore what happens when one 24 year old woman, called M, becomes distastrously confused as a result of her obsession with social media.

M has completely lost a sense of who she is, where she’s going and what she wants to do with her life. To top it all off, she is heartbroken. The play itself is structured somewhat like a Facebook newsfeed: short, sharp bursts of thoughts and feelings, jokes, videos and selfies – all of which reveal parts of her personality, her conflicting thoughts and her experiences. Through the course of the play, she goes on a massive journey of self-discovery and we meet all sorts of fun characters along the way.

The play is a comedy on the surface, but at its heart it’s a tragedy. We’re obsessed with our image, with what others think of us, and as a result neglect what’s real. We forget to nurture our animal instincts, senses, rational thoughts and physical sensations.

In a nutshell, I hope the play is highly entertaining and rip-roaringly funny, but also want the audience to leave with their heads full of questions. So wish me luck.

This is box title
501 Things I Do In My Bedroom is at The Etcetera Theatre, above the Oxford Arms on Camden High Street, on Sun 30th Nov at 8.30pm and Mon 1st Dec, 9.30pm. Tickets £6.50 from here

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