Before I am Lost

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March 1919. Imagist poet Hilda Doolittle feels the first pangs of labour. She has been through this before, but things are different now: this child is not her husband’s. Convinced that the birth will claim her life, Hilda makes a frantic final confession to her unborn daughter.

As she relives the blossoming and breakdown of her relationship with husband Richard Aldington, the discovery of her poetic talents and the fight for recognition amongst her male peers, and the moment she met the woman who would change her life, Hilda must find new resolve to live.

One hundred years after the birth of H.D.’s daughter Perdita, Beatrice Vincent’s new monologue pays tribute to an unjustly forgotten talent. Before I am Lost celebrates queer female creativity and the bond between mother and daughter.

Before I am Lost premiered at the Etcetra Theatre in August 2019 as part of the Camden Fringe and receive critical acclaim as below:

“A subtle portrait of great power”

“a passionate portrayal that dominates every inch of the small stage”

“moves effortless from times of triumph and exhilaration to the despairing claustraphobia of the war” – Michal Spring @Camden Voyeur

“Beatrice Vincent gives a beautiful performance, walking a tightrope of emotion with captivating precision”

“Hilda Doolittle had her own story to tell, and if this brief snap shot is anything to go by, it’s one that’s well worth hearing”

“a portrayal that feels very authentic” – Liz Dyer – @theatrethingsuk

“‘Before I am Lost’ is simply beautiful. The writing has a lyrical quality that befits the subject of the piece. Also you have helped to give exquisite life to a poet I had not previously encountered. A must see.” – Audience member sent via twitter.

Cobalt Theatre was founded in 2019 by Beatrice Vincent following her appearance in 2018 at the Pleasance Theatre as part of Glass Splinters – an evening devoted to new monologues celebrating unsung historical women. Her 10 minute piece about the imagist poet Hilda Dolittle inspired the writing of Before I am Lost.

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