“My name is Suchandrika, and I miss Amy”. So begins this stand-up work in progress, I which a 37 year old woman explores her attachment and admiration of Amy Winehouse (1983-2011l. They were born just a few months apart, and both drank around Camden Town.
This is a show about Amy, her rise to fame, her eventual admittance to the “27 Club’ (the only other famale member, Janis Joplin, an equally talented and devisive figure recently remembered over at the Union Theatre), her fanbase, her life in the spotlight.
It is also about grief, friendship, solidarity and togetherness, and how those shared experiences mould and shape us. It is about parents both dead and alive, and how we remember them.
It uses a discussion of statues to bring not just Amy Winehouse’s memorial in Camden (flanked by the parents who lost her), but also Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace (unveiled by the sons who lost her as teenagers).
With quizzes, music, memories, and musings on the nature of celebrity big and small, Suchandrika Chakrabarti shows how Amy Winehouse’s musical achievement and short life can tell us things about our need to belong, protect, and admire.
As a work in progress, I Miss Amy Winehouse still needs a little focus and structure. There is a lot to unpick including the power of the press, the exploitation of the dead (hologram concerts), and whether family members no longer here are or were our fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.
This is an affectionate piece which has wit, warmth, and a celebration of womanhood on the sticky floors and in the smoky rooms of teenage drinking dens.
I Miss Amy Winehouse ran at the Etcerera Theatre during the Camden Fringe; I attended the final show on the 29 August.