​Charlotte Josephine on Writing BLUSH from a Place of Anger

Snuff Box Theatre’s BLUSH is a two-hander exploring revenge porn and the violence that can overflow from feelings of inadequacy. Writer Charlotte Josephine explains how she used rage as part of her writing process.

Rage is really useful when it’s focused right

I started writing BLUSH from a place of anger. More than anger, rage, proper belly-deep rage. Rage at the men who commit revenge porn. Rage at the term ‘revenge porn’ which in itself is hugely problematic. Rage at our legal system which seems murderously slow at changing laws which might protect women. Rage at our archaic sex education in schools, whilst children easily access rape porn on their phones. Rage at the embarrassment I feel at being ‘an angry woman’ about all this, I mean maybe it’s just me but it still seems like it’s socially unacceptable to be female and fuming.

Rage is really useful when it’s focused right, and for me picking up a pen allows something dark and dangerous to grow into something creative. I dunno, writing gets me into far less trouble than some of the other options. I’ve learnt a lot writing BLUSH, and there was a huge shift for me personally, a growth that occurred somewhere in between drafts.

I’ve learnt that anger is an emotional response to a perceived threat. I’ve learnt that shame grows in secrecy and in silence, and the best antidote for shame is empathy. I’ve learnt that most monsters are in fact victims. I’ve learnt to look deeper, I’ve not always liked what I’ve seen, but time and time again I’ve been astonished by our incredible capacity for forgiveness, for kindness, for love.

BLUSH asks a whole load of difficult questions that no one seems to know the answers for, particularly me. It’s about misogyny, and shame, and violence. It’s also about empathy, and forgiveness, and kindness. I think gender imbalance is made far more complicated than it needs to be, I don’t know how to solve it, but I do know we have to do it together.

Charlotte Josephine trained on the Contemporary Theatre course at East 15 Acting School and is co-artistic director of Snuff Box Theatre. Her writing includes Perffection (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and Bitch Boxer (Soho Theatre, National and International Tour) which won the Soho Theatre Young Writers Award, Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Season 2012, the Holden Street Theatres Award and the Adelaide Fringe Award 2013.

BLUSH plays at the Underbelly Big Belly at 18:00 all this Fringe (not 18th). Full Edinburgh listing: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/blush/713790 Follow the team @SnuffBoxTheatre.

Photo credit: Eivind Handsen