A Shared Breath
A Shared Breath began life as a play for four actors. It was performed as a rehearsed reading at Theatre Fest West at Salisbury Playhouse in the Salberg Theatre, where it was directed by Pete Talman. The actor playing Evie was Tori Deffee. After recognising its potential as a solo piece writer Linda Morse developed the current script in 2019 with Pete and Tori in partnership with Wiltshire Creative.
Evie has suffered a deprived childhood, domestic abuse and falls into alcoholism. For her having children is ‘as easy as shelling peas’.
Gillian, a modern professional woman expecting to ‘have it all’, finds she is unable to have the child she longs for. At six years old Meg is taken from Evie to start her new life with Gillian and Tim. Everyone seems to imagine that this is the end of the fairy tale, ‘they all live happily ever after’, but for Meg it is only the beginning. Her life is still full of the ‘wolves and witches and robbers’ she must battle. At the beginning and end of the play the audience is invited to imagine how it would be if these three women , now all mothers, could speak together as equals in the same moment, at the same age. If they could ‘take one shared breath’, maybe they would understand each other.
A revelatory new play about adoption, ‘A Shared Breath’ by Linda Morse, is the story of Meg and her two mothers. The drama cleverly interweaves the stories of the three women in a broad narrative sweep , condensing their lives into an hour of riveting theatre. Linda’s writing sensitively exposes both the resilience and the vulnerability of the characters, while director Pete Talman’s ability to create dramatic visual and emotional impact, shapes this moving piece of theatre. In a superb performance Tori Deffee, single-handedly plays all the roles, making startling and instantaneous changes between them with absolute control and conviction.
This is a play which combines humour and sadness, tenderness and savagery and with devastating poignancy demonstrates how the bruised fates of these women are inextricably and irreversibly linked. A Shared Breath opens the gateway labelled ‘Adoption’ and steps through into a minefield.
Cast & Crew
trained at Dartington College of Arts. Linda has studied script writing with Angie Street – Salisbury, Barney Norris and Sam Potter (Out of Joint) and Sharon Clark and Matt Grinter at Bath Theatre Royal. She has had short plays produced throuhout the South West and in London Fringe Theatres. Her full-length plays ‘Empty Mirrors and ‘A Girl with No Feet’ both reached the ‘Top Twenty’ in Bristol Old Vic’s Open Session (2014, 2016) and the original version of ‘A Shared Breath’, written for four actors, was performed as a rehearsed reading in April 2015 in Theatre Fest West at Salisbury Playhouse, Salberg Theatre. Linda was instrumental in forming the Salisbury Fringe Festival of New Writing. She has recently formed a new theatre company, ‘Best of Both’, with Sally Lewis with a view to touring new writing.
graduated from Rose Bruford. She has played Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adriana in A Comedy of Errors, Rosalind in As You Like It, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and Madam Zoyka in Madam Zoyka by Mikhail Bulgarov in its UK premiere. She subsequently trained as a teacher of Drama, and taught at St. Vincents College, Gosport. She is now director of Join the Company, based in Cranborne, Dorset. She has returned to professional acting after having her three children and is a regular performer at Salisbury Fringe Festival . She recently acted with Juno Theatre in a number of short plays. She played Evie in the rehearsed reading of the original four actor version of ‘A Shared Breath’ at Salisbury Playhouse.
directs regularly for the Dorset Theatre Company, Churchill Productions. Productions include ‘Two’ – Jim Cartwright and ‘Honour’ – Joanna Murray-Smith, both of which toured as well as playing at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. He is currently working on ‘All My Sons’ – Arthur Miller. He has written and directed Schools Operas for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra which have been performed at Lighthouse, Poole.
Pete has directed plays in the First Cuts, Short Cuts and Rough Cuts for Salisbury Fringe over the past six years. He directed the rehearsed reading of the four actor version of ‘A Shared Breath’
is a freelance drama & theatre practitioner. She is an actor currently working solely on new writing projects within the Salisbury area. She is the adoptive parent of children aged 19 and 17 years and founded a Salisbury Adoption Support group. In 2018 she co-founded and is a trustee of the county wide group WANDS (Wiltshire Adopters Networking Development and Support). She works closely with Adoption West , the regional adoption agency, with the aim of providing support to adopters and their families in the region. She is Adopter Voice Champion for the national charity Adoption UK. Sara is also a member of the Adopter Reference Group that meets at the DfE in Westminster to put forward the views of adopters in the region to help effect change within government on policies which impact adoptive families. Sara will facilitate the Q & A and discussion forum.
Lighting & Sound
currently works as Stage Manager for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. She is a freelance Lighting and Sound technician, whose work has included Ballet Ireland as Touring Lighting Technician, Apple Farm Art and Music Centre, Elmer, New Jersey, USA. as Technical Theatre Instructor, Join The Company Performing Arts Academy as casual technician and Local band Mr Chord as casual sound technician.