photo - shaun wykes

Shaun – Blog One

We are just over a week away from the 24:7 Weekend! We are the Multitude is in intense rehearsal mode with Amy Drake and Andrew Blake exploring their new alter egos Lisa and Simon with Liz Stevenson (director) and Flora Anderson (assistant director) guiding them on their way. The story of two cubicle buddies (office cubicles, obviously) who have failed to find any common ground, despite their extreme everyday geographical closeness.

Now I’ve been where Lisa and Simon are at. I’ve worked for universities and Government departments and have met the whole range of people – the one who is in the job while they’re ‘in between’ even though that’s been five years and counting, the overly enthusiastic one who (once you learn their job description) you fail to comprehend how they can love it so much, the one who has been there for twenty years and has gained a knack of clicking away from Facebook at the precise moment before their boss notices. You hear stories of where people dreamed of being, against where they’ve ended up, and you’re too afraid to ask what horrible set of unfortunate events occurred between the dream and the reality.

And the more I see how Lisa and Simon react to the situation they find themselves in, the more I think how would each of those people react? And how would I react? Would an attack on my (metaphorical) office shake up my life? And if one never came, would my life go by unshaken? SHAKE IT UP!

You know that old adage – “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family”? Well I think it should be – “you can pick your friend, but you can’t pick your family, but you also can’t pick the person you have to sit next to at work day in and day out and you probably spend more waking hours with them as you do any of those pre-mentioned family that you haven’t chosen so I think that’s a much bigger concern we need to face up to!”

Not only is We are the Multitude (the cool kids are saying WATM, apparently) is about these #firstworldproblems a lot of us face but at the same time it discusses the bigger issues surrounding education, Government, budget cuts and privilege. The first budget delivered by George Osbourne for the new Government has cut maintenance grants and now students who had previously used that money to get by at university are now going to leave university and spend even more of their lives riddled with debt. How much more of a burden can the Government put on students back before they break? And what will this breaking look like?

WATM (it’ll catch on) captures the micro and the macro, the serious and the not so serious, of what is affecting us right now.