Deborah is a playwright, actress, poet and artist living in Southampton
I emailed her about what I was doing and we arranged to meet at ‘God’s House Tower’ on a Saturday afternoon.
My train’s arrival into Southampton was delayed because of ‘trees on the tracks’, but Deborah waited for me to turn up.
God’s House Tower was closed for refurbishment and it was raining so Deborah suggested we meet next door at Platform Tavern instead.
Platform Tavern is a beer and live music establishment. It’s name derives from its location, situated across the road from Southampton’s ferry and cruise terminals. Its proximity to Ocean Dock where the Titanic was moored got it featured in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Titanic.’
The tavern’s interior is eclectic: a section of Southampton’s medieval Old Town Wall is showcased in glass, red drapery covers the ceiling, African masks hang from yellow painted walls and nooks are filled with an assortment of bongos and guitars.
Deborah had positioned her seating so that she was easy to find. She had read the links I emailed her and knew about what I was doing so that I didn’t even need to go into my spiel of explanation. She wrote on the frame for me to meet Katherine and said to ask her ‘how’s the water?’. Deborah told me Katherine co-founded the fine art printmaking business ‘Red House Press’ and is a bookbinder and printmaker.
Deborah brought with her for the montage a handmade print from Red House Press with the words ‘the sea was here’. She explained the sea used to lap up to where Platform House now stood.
Deborah told me about some of her creative projects. Recently, she took part in an arts residency at God’s House Tower (GHT). During that residency she worked with actors and fellow creatives to create and deliver poetry and dramatic monologues that engaged with the history of GHT.
GHT is now transforming into a new arts and heritage venue and Deborah was excited about the future opportunities a new arts facility would give to Southampton’s creative community, who have yet to find a replacement cultural hub and performance space after The Gantry closed in 2001.