Last night the Manchester Evening News headline proclaimed “World Premier of Lemn Sissay’s A Child Like You at RNCM”. But it’s simply not true. Here’s the deal. The title “A child Like You” is by Andy Scott. Andy Scott is a composer who approached me when he was applying for an award to write a piece with a brass band called Foden’s. I suggested the subject of the child in care as the heart of the project. What does heart of the project mean? It means sharing, were possible, the most prized parts of the project with the people it professes to represent. (The days of doing a performance piece about “the community” and then throwing “the community” a few workshops are over in the radical thinking needed for change and development.
He won the PRS award. But though I tried I couldn’t write a word and pulled out of the project. Often when I can’t write it’s a sign to me that there’s something wrong with a project. They threatened to sue unless I allowed them to use words of mine that were already written and recorded outside of the project. It’s the first time in my twenty seven year career that anyone has threatened to sue me. I can’t afford to be sued or to sue so I agreed they could use previously recorded words and my name (in the press) provided they run it by me. They didn’t run anything by me. So it is that I learned via last night’s press that I had a world premier that never was.