WRITER & PERFORMER: 'I, MARIGOLD', A COMIC, ONE-WOMAN THEATRE SHOW ABOUT HOUSEWORK & RELATIONSHIPS, COMING SOON. ALSO CREATOR OF SHOW 'MY MOTHER'S SHOES' & AUTHOR OF NOVELS ‘ARE MY ROOTS SHOWING?’ & ‘DIARY OF AN OBEDIENT WIFE’

Writer & Performer

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About Karola

Writer and Performer

A bit about me

My background is theatre and stand-up. I am currently thinking about the creation of a brand new solo theatre show called ‘I, Marigold’. Marigold is my alter-ego and the show will be Marigold’s unique and quirky take on marriage/long term relationships, housework and the meaning of life.

Karola Gajda 'I, Marigold' early images

Early ideas for the show-in-incubation ‘I, Marigold’

Migration Matters Festival 2021

This summer (June/July 2021), I will be running another online writing workshop for Migration Matters Festival. UK Festival Director Sam Holland came to see ‘My Mother’s Shoes’ at Edinburgh in 2019 and asked me to bring the show to the festival because of its migration theme. Because of COVID, I held a ‘writing from life’ online workshop in 2020 instead, so it is an honour to be asked back. Information on dates as they emerge.

‘My Mother’s Shoes’ is a dramatic one-hour autobiography focusing largely on my relationship with my late mum.  I got some great reviews , and the show will be streamed at Migration Matters Festival and may even appear in the flesh, regulations permitting. The show is available to hire.

Novels

I’ve also written two comic novels: ‘Are My Roots Showing?’ set in Poland, with a more serious historical thread running through it too – and ‘The Diary of an Obedient Wife’ – an observational comic diary about married life. You can find them both on Amazon. I have spoken at different author events, from library events to festivals such as the Essex Book Festival.

Stand-up, theatre and writing

If you’re interesting in booking ‘My Mother’s Shoes‘ for a theatre slot with writing workshop (category: true life, new-writing, dramatic biography, Polish history), or booking me as a stand up (see a gig here) or having me speak about my novels, please get in touch via Twitter @karolagajda or Facebook.com/writingkarola.

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Books & Performances

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Buy my books

Available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.

If you like my books, I’d love to hear from you and if you have time, why not write a review on Amazon or GoodReads (‘Are my Roots Showing?’ or ‘The Diary of an Obedient Wife’).

‘Are My Roots Showing?’ is also on Kobo and Barnes and Noble.


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Reviews

Press

Reviews of My Mother’s Shoes

August 2019

Trending UK: Of the nine shows I’ve seen at the Fringe, Karola Gajda’s ‘My Mother’s Shoes’ has been the best.

Edfringe.com – Karola’s story of her mother’s life and their relationship is the best thing I’ve seen at the Fringe this year. I am planning to go again and take others with me. I would thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who wants to hear a warm, funny, authentic account of the ordeals, struggles and joys of an immigrant family and their integration into northern British life. Totally engaging!

Yvette Huddleston, Yorkshire Post

April 2016

On the novel, Are My Roots Showing? ‘A hugely entertaining, funny, heart-warming and often moving read‘ Yorkshire Post.

Polish National Daily & Total Theatre

November 2006

Agnieszka Okonska on the show, ‘My Polish Roots & Other Vegetables’ – ‘theatre as it should be’.

Total Theatre ‘a lovely piece full of heart and soul‘.

Brin Best, Polish Weekly article

September 2017

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by author Brin Best for the Tydzien Polski. Brin isn’t Polish but has a real love of Polish people. He and Marian Helena Zukowska have written a wonderful book called Poles in the UK: A Story of Friendship and Cooperation (2016). It explains the positive contribution Poles have made to the UK over the last one thousand years.

Read the full article on the Polish Weekly website.

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My Polish Roots & Other Vegetables

Theatre Show
I did stand up for a while in London in the late 90s. I then decided I wanted to explore a wider range of emotional content and stage a show about my Polish working class upbringing in Doncaster. I successfully applied for Arts Council funding and it was such a fulfilling time, writing a piece of theatre, telling my parents’ stories from World War II, while weaving in comedy all at the same time. I did the show at the Tristan Bates Theatre in the Actors’ Centre in London in 2005, then I took it to Edinburgh in 2006 where it was hand-picked for a run at the then Arts Theatre near Leicester Square in late 2006. I cooked beetroot soup on stage which I gave out at the end. The Dziennik Polski came to review (the Polish National daily) and they said the show was ‘how theatre is meant to be’ – such a lovely personal review by Agnieszka Okonska. There was also a literary agent in the audience one night and they invited me to write a novel… which is how and why ‘Are My Roots Showing?’ was born. The show had quite a few bits of video in it including some animations, one of which you can see here.

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