The Things We Tell Ourselves + Don’t Cry For Me

New Works by Cristina Catalina and Stephanie Ridings

Thurs Oct 11th, 7.30pm - Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HW

Two new pieces of theatre commissioned as part of our project Are We Where We Are? will premiere at the Shop Front Theatre on October 11th. Taking American essayist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau’s provocation ‘We are not where we are, but in a false position’ as a central theme, these new commissions explore stories of the personal and the political. Whilst both works respond to the central provocation, each piece was written in isolation, reflecting and sharing with the audience the world as these writers see it.

The Things We Tell Ourselves written and performed by Cristina Catalina is the seventh in a series of 9 new pieces commissioned for the Shop Front Theatre.

‘We are where we are because we put ourselves there. We put ourselves there because we did. Because we could. Because that’s all we could do.’

How do we define ourselves, and how does that impact our lives? The Things We Tell Ourselves looks at the stories we choose to be imprisoned or freed by.

Cristina Catalina is an actor, producer, writer and translator. She regularly works with devising ensembles and theatre-makers to research and develop new work and international collaborations. She is a member of award-winning ensemble Tangled Feet and Associate Artist at Theatre Absolute. As a producer she has over 7 years’ experience delivering international performance projects and is currently Associate Producer at Dash Arts.

Don’t Cry for Me written and performed by Stephanie Ridings is number eight in the commissions.

In the 1970’s no one has heard of Asperger’s, so he’s labelled clever and maybe a bit different, and he goes along with it until he just can’t pretend anymore. He sounds the same, he looks the same, but who has taken up residence in my brother’s body?

As well as this new work for Theatre Absolute, Stephanie Ridings’ recent solo show, The Fear of Fear, will open at Warwick Arts Centre in Autumn 2018 before touring in 2019. Her previous play, The Road to Huntsville, received a Bitesize commission in 2015, won an Arts Voice award, was featured on BBC2’s Edinburgh Nights and has been published by Nick Hern Books as part of the anthology, Women Centre Stage.


Chris O’Connell, artistic director Theatre Absolute comments: “Thoreau’s quote, ‘We are not where we are, but in a false position’ seems particularly apt at this moment in the 21st Century. It’s a provocative call for theatre makers to explore peoples’ experiences today. It includes headline issues like politics, economics and migration but reflects much wider perspectives offered by exciting new and established writers and artists. We look forward to these showing these two new pieces, as all of the previously commissioned pieces have proved epic in their intensity, and the conversations they have provoked.”

The Things We Tell Ourselves by Cristina Catalina and Don’t Cry for Me by Stephanie Ridings premiere at The Shop Front Theatre, Coventry on Thursday 11 October. The evening starts at 7.30pm and each piece is approx. 20 minutes with an interval between.

Tickets are £8 (full price) and £6 (concessions) available via Brown Paper Tickets

Please note that the Shop Front Theatre capacity is 55 seated so advanced booking is advised. 

The project is supported by Arts Council England, Coventry City Council, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Talking Birds, The Belgrade Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre.

PRESS: For further information please contact Helen Annetts, PR on behalf of Theatre Absolute, on 07779026720 or email: HelenLAnnetts@hotmail.co.uk