Through the Cracks: Creating As a Cathartic Process

Blog by Zoe Street

Heart Pirate is incredibly close to home for me…and no subject was left off limits…”

Heart Pirate is a solo work written, devised and performed by Becky Gethen, our Setting the Stages artist from NT. For this work, Becky brings a deeply personal and emotional labour of love to the stage as she delves into the life and unpublished poetry of her mother, who passed away three years ago. Using her mother’s story and poetry, Heart Pirate has allowed Becky to explore her own grief and connect the work to the universal themes of love and loss.

Heart Pirate is Becky’s first crack at writing her own solo show and what a courageous way to begin! Teaming up with close friend Kate Kelly as her director, Becky reveals one challenge of telling such a personal story in an accessible way was “creating a dynamic piece of theatre that takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of emotions without just standing there for 50 minutes and talking…[We] had to look at various ways to tell a story and so we explored this through poetry, music and movement pieces.”

With such a personal stimulus, and with the goal to create honest and authentic work, she shared with us that the development of Heart Pirate as both performer and deviser was an emotional ride: “The biggest challenge in the development of the work was the emotional toll it was taking on me…I cried and cried and cried in the development and rehearsals….In the end though, I found the whole process quite cathartic”.

While the performance will touch some nerves for those who have experienced loss and love, Becky also wants to create a space where others can feel catharsis as she did in creating the work. “My hope would be that those who have experienced a significant loss of a loved one in their life, or even a loss of love itself, can experience the show, listen to the poetry and walk away feeling a sense of catharsis because ultimately, theatre should affect people”.

Heart Pirate is a brave undertaking as not only a deeply personal work but as a one woman performance – to me there is nothing more captivating than watching a performer being completely vulnerable and brutally honest on stage. I also dig poetry AND theatre so I’m excited to see Becky and her creatives as a performative power team hitting my heart.


What Becky is all about: Raw, honest, authentic performance, vulnerability.   
A tiny taster of what’s to come: An emotional rollercoaster ride, beloved poetry from mum, home truths, laughter and tears.


Becky Gethen and her team our Setting the Stages artists from NT. Join Becky on her emotional journey in Heart Pirate on Friday 30 Sep from 9:15pm – 10:15pm at Watt Space Gallery and Saturday 1 Oct 1:30pm – 2:30pm at Pivot Dance Studio .