Tripped up by my genes


Photography by Alex Winn (

CHILDLESS or free? Clare-Hope Ashitey performs Louise in ‘End of the Line’. Photo by Alex Winn

WHAT IS THE worst kind of news to hear when you are at the very cusp of the responsibilities of adulthood? For Louise, it isn’t something that has happened to her. Rather, it is a definitive understanding of what is wrong with her sister, Jill. But more than that, it is the desperate cliff edge that this information sets her on, to know that this illness of her sister is genetic. Louise is the second in the podcast series The End of the Line, currently available.

Performed by Clare-Hope Ashitey, this succinct and easy-to-listen-to piece touches deeply. It’s about loss, clarity, yet an uncertain future. It’s about knowing that you cannot unknow something about yourself and it sets you in the quandary of who to tell. Does Louise tell her partner? If she does, what does it say about her? If she doesn’t, what does it say about her? This is a secret about her past and her future that she cannot secrete away and quietly forget. Or is it?

Above all, it sets her mind clear about the idea of having children. Or does it? With crisp writing that gets immediately to the nub of the issue, but doesn’t spew snot en trane all over the microphone, this small – yet big – yarn  about the ultimate gambling stakes of life and the monsters that wait for you around the next corner is a strong piece and the second in this lovely series, written by Mark Heywood.  Listen to it here.

  • Louise is written and directed by Mark Heywood and features technical input by Hetty Hodgson. With music by Daisy Chute and Cerian of the Heard Collective, it is performed by Clare-Hope Ashitey and it is the second in a series of podcasts collectively called The End of the Line.

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