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Body in a Bag

20 February

Ayesha Casely-Hayford | Actress blog

There’s a first time for everything.

I went to visit my friend and brilliant artist Jenny Hayton at her workplace in Central Saint Martins, King’s Cross. I left with my body in a bag.

Before that, we viewed Jenny’s brilliant display of some of her work with her performance costume students “I love a Bustle with a Bend”.

A little while ago, Jenny took a casting of my body. A fun but also slightly claustrophobic experience. It was for a jewellry exhibition of pieces created by David Poston. My body is not being used in the exhibition unfortunately! But on the plus side, it meant I could bring the cast home and experience what it is like to carry my own body in a bag. Surreal.

The day before carrying my body in bag, I went to see “The Nether” by Jennifer Haley at The Duke of York’s Theatre near Trafalgar Square. That’s where all the surrealism started. “Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean it’s not real”. A play about a virtual world, where a self-confessed paedophile can satisfy his desires and children can be safe. In a virtual reality with all senses working, humans can assume an identity, changing age, race and sex and do as they please, including killing a child with an axe because the child will then resurrect over and over again…a world with no consequences. It’s a good play. It was performed brilliantly, the stage set and use of technology was incredible and has won awards. It is also obviously a disturbing play. As far as we are living with advancing technological possibilities, the play is totally relevant. And as far as theatre’s role is to challenge and question life perceptions and what is real… it’s a success.

Outside of The Nether, carrying my body in a bag and having it sit next to me in my bedroom has definitely made me feel very real. I can’t yet change what I am.

Ayesha Casely-Hayford | Actress blog


Ayesha Casely-Hayford

My body

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