Terri Donovan

Finding Elsie

Presented by Word of Warning + Contact

Part of Works Ahead 2016 Compact Edition: hidden stories and half-remembered truths from Terri Donovan + Afreena Islam.

In Brief

Finding Elsie is about me, my Dad, my Gran… and dementia. This is my exploration of how relationships change and continue to change in my attempt to find a true reflection of my Elsie.”

Venue + Booking Details for Compact Edition

Dates: Friday 3 + Saturday 4 June 2016, 5pm + 6pm (limited capacity, repeats)
Two extra shows added due to demand: 4pm (both dates)
Venue: Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Tickets: £4/2
Box Office Tel: 0161 274 0600

Access Information for Compact Edition

Age advisory: 14+ (parental/guardian discretion). Finding Elsie is spoken word based and will be the first part of a double bill lasting approximately 1¼ hours including a short pause to move location within the building. This piece is in the basement and, in case of emergency, audience members must be able to climb up one flight of stairs. We apologise for the access limitations this creates. Please call 0161 274 0600 for information.


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

— T. S. Eliot (Little Gidding)

“If you want, I could describe to you every inch of my Grandma’s living room: the carpet — crimson red with the Persian pattern; the sofa — soda cream four-seater in a soft weft weave; the TV — wide-screen with a dozen illegal DVDs stored safely underneath; the armchair — cracked maroon leather placed next to a full glass ashtray; the window — facing the road and boarding school, the long grass tumbling continually amongst the sand and wind. I know this room like the back of my hand. But the blur in this landscape is — Her.

Finding Elsie is an exploration using words, sound and movement to answer the questions we all face: Who are you? Who am I?

I cannot promise to find any answers — I had the privilege of knowing my Elsie for 19 years, 10 months, 19 days, 3 hours and 45 minutes, and I still haven’t figured out who that great Mancunian lady was.

I have a whisper of time to share with you mine and her moments, and perhaps finally — to truly find my Elsie for the first time.”

Who is she?

Terri is a former member of Contact Young Company, involved in the Stacy Makishi directed Under the Covers at Contact, BAC + Southbank Centre, London and Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; Rodolfo Amorim + Lowri Evans’s sited The Shrine of Everyday Things; and Commonwealth’s How To Be Better.

A member of the National Youth Theatre, she was also one of the poets selected as part of BBC Radio1Xtra and Roundhouse’s Words First scheme.

This is Terri’s first solo performance work.


Works Ahead 2016 is commissioned and produced by hÅb and Contact; supported using public funding by Arts Council England + funded by Manchester City Council. Project Mentor: Peader Kirk
worksahead.org | #WorksAhead



Works Ahead 2016

Fri 3 Jun, 4pm (5+6pm sold-out);
(Sat 4 Jun, 4+5+6pm sold-out). £4/2 | Contact
Works Ahead Compact Edition
Fri 3 + Sat 4 Jun, 7.30pm. £6/3 | Contact
Works Ahead Evening Edition