Daniel Ward Talks … Everything I Own @ the Housemates Festival

This month, the Housemates Festival returns to Brixton House inviting artists to take over the House for three weeks from 4th – 23rd July.

Themes explore the complexities of youth crime and rehabilitation juxtaposed with the Black joy of growing up in south London and millennial nostalgia, intergenerational conversations on radical activism; as well as delving into the complexities of family love and relationships; and probing the big life questions about how we all survive in a capitalistic world.

We spoke to some of the wonderful cast and creative involved in this year’s festival.

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Daniel Ward and I am an actor & writer from South London.

Which came first,Film, TV or theatre … ?

Theatre because it was accessible, it started with school plays and continued from there. I have only recently started to do to Film & TV. 

Why Everything I Own?

I was approached by Amanda Huxtable and the Hull Truck theatre to create a solo show as one of the first projects to ease the country back into theatre post lockdown. She approached me with the idea of a play that celebrated black men/masculinity and the play developed naturally through conversations with her, others in my life and the wider black community of Hull.

Tell us about your team …

Although, I have written this play it definitely feels like a shared experience because so many people offered their stories in it’s creation. I have to give a shoutout to Amanda but honestly there are too many to mention.

Are you in the play?

I am not in the play; the main character is played by a wonderful actor called Everal Walsh. I have performed my own writing though and didn’t find the process too different. You are still playing a character, and your relationship with that character deepens and grows through rehearsal.

What does the story of Everything I Own mean to you personally? 

A lot. There are stories and experiences that I pulled directly from my own life and others readily gifted to me in the creation of the character Errol.

Tell us about a challenging moment during this project that you had to dig deep to get through?

Honestly, I tend not to dwell on things that go wrong but accept them as a natural part of any creative process. One of the really nice things about this is how positive people have been and willing to lend their time and expertise. 

Which scene/character best defines what you love about this project?

From the very start, you are in a front room of a Caribbean person and I love it because the face feels immediately familiar, comfortable and sets the tone for the rest of the play.

Your work focuses on the Black British lived experience, why is it so important for you to share your thoughts with your audience and how do you choose the way in which you tell each story, whether from the naturalistic to the fantastical perspectives of your work?

I tell those stories because that’s what I’m drawn to, that’s what I see and that’s what I feel is necessary. How I go about telling those stories is the interesting part because the tone of the storytelling develops naturally for me, from the dramatic to the comedic from the naturalistic to the weird and wacky.

Considering your career evolution, where does this project sit on your checklist?

I’m proud of this play and I’m excited for people to see it, especially in Brixton. That’s enough for me, I’m really happy to enjoy this moment and after that, whatever happens, happens.

What’s next?

I’m going on holiday ????

How do we keep up to date with you and your work?

Get at me @datywar on Twitter & Instagram.

Everything I Own runs from 19th-20th July @ Brixton House Festival


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