Not For The Likes Of Us – Jo Kirtley (part of Brief Encounters)

I wrote It’s Not For The Likes Of Us as I like writing about real women. I don’t believe there’s enough bold female characters (with Northern accents) on stage and I wanted create one that portrayed guts with a bit of glam. Enter Lucy: a seventeen year old who wants the opportunity to be taken seriously and study science but also party hard in Ibiza, wear lip-gloss and make her Dad proud. Lucy is actually a real person; I’ve just stolen her identity, changed her name and given her an idol to admire. This one being Marie Stopes; a highly controversial figure whose own legacy created Marie Stopes UK , an amazing charity that is the leading independent provider of sexual and reproductive health services.

Some credit and inspiration for this monologue has to go to one of my best mates, Ruthie who coined the very phrase of the title. After first ever meeting me, at the Drama department open day at Manchester University, as we embarked on our journey to study for a Masters degree there; she looked me up and down, pointed around the lobby then back at herself and said, “It’s not for the likes of us, is it?” To which, I replied, “Fancy a pint?”

Ten years on and many pints later, I’m still wondering if it is, for the likes of us…?