Writer and performer Willy Hudson tells us about Welcome Home, following his acclaimed Bottom at Soho Theatre.
Tell us a bit about Welcome Home
Welcome Home is my new solo theatre show. It’s a queer Sci-Fi epic about the time I had a bad break up and then tried to tear down the church that I was brought up in. It’s a breakup show in many ways; breakup from a romantic moment and a breakup with religion. It’s about revenge, shame and forgiveness. And queer child-parent relationships. I wanted a fun and epic way to explore these heavy and epic themes. It’s giving part pop concert, part Sci-Fi fantasy and part gay communion.
Why did you want to make this show?
My work is autobiographical, so all this stuff was happening as I was commissioned by Soho Theatre and it naturally fell into my writing process.
I started writing Welcome Home at the start of lockdown, where I went back to my childhood home in Devon and started picking at the Christian values that shaped my up
bringing. A mixture of lockdown, post breakup, and writing a show sent me mad and I attempted to confront and change the Church I grew up in. I wanted to avenge the homophobic and shame-inducing experiences I had there.
I wrote about this experience so I could make sense of it. I wanted to make something that was inherently queer, loud, silly, a bit weird, a bit gross and allow me to shout some big questions I have about the world.
Who or what would you say are the artistic influences on your work?
For this show I would say the Chromatica Ball, Bryony Kimmings, Everything Everywhere All At Once, In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, In Bed With My Brother, BopaRhys, La Gateau Chocoat, Lucy McCormick, Doctor Who and The Matrix.
What you hope audiences take away from the show?
I hope audiences take away a banging night in Soho. I hope queer audiences, and specifically those that have a history with religion can explore, enjoy and laugh at their own experience through the show. I’d love it if people dragged their parents along. My big dream is to make a show that heals shame. It’s a laugh and messy and I hope audiences are entertained. It’s a spectacle. I’ve spent 3 years making it so I hope it makes sense. I want to make something that makes people feel something and not just be academically interesting. I’d rather people go OMG WOW or OH FUCK I HATE THAT rather than hmmm interesting use of pathos….
What are you working on next?
I have a few exciting TV shows in development, but theatre wise I have no idea! In UK theatre there isn’t a sustainable or stable career path unless you have money falling out your arse. You have to fight tooth and nail for a stage. I’m lucky to have this platform and making the most of it!
Welcome Home plays Soho Theatre 26 Jan – 11 Feb 2023, more details here
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