Actor Steve Hay discusses the journey of Turning Leaves from Edinburgh to Oxford and how it has evolved over that time

We’re bringing Turning Leaves home to Oxford, back to the place that was instrumental in its development, the Old Fire Station on February 9. Turning Leaves is a trio of monologues which examine how class and gender affect the justice we receive.

My monologue, Oh Danny Boy was written by Jaime Woodham, then a student at Ruskin College for Ruskin’s open day.

I performed it that day as one of three monologues written by Jaime about characters from the underbelly of London’s Waterloo – a stone’s throw and a far cry from the South Bank and its arts.

I loved the writing, and the character I portrayed, there’s so much to play with.

We performed cut-down extracts of all three again at an Old Fire Station scratch night, curated by Under Construction’s Lizzie McBain, and then last July I took a phone call from a friend, Eleanor Conlon of Rust and Stardust Productions, who was directing a monologue, Trees Grow High.

Did I want to take up a late availability slot at the Edinburgh Festival? We were too late for any pre-publicity and would have a tough time trying to get any media coverage while we were up there (since there are 2000 other companies vying for attention) but, since I hadn’t performed at the Edinburgh Fringe for 10 years, I thought it sounded like a good idea.

It was only then that we realised how well the two monologues fitted together, so Eleanor wrote a third to tie the pieces together, and three weeks later we were in Edinburgh. No one knew we existed, and that first night, we had an audience of one –Jaime’s mum. But over the week, we built an audience and on the final night, we had a sell out crowd.

So now we’re ready for Oxford, and looking forward to our night at the OFS. Turning Leaves brings together three stark, powerful solo performances; Trees Grow High is a response to media controversies about female perpetrators of sex crimes.

Oh Danny Boy is a dark and destructive reflection on society’s responsibility to its outcasts and Turning Leaves is a discussion of attitudes to crime and whether true impartiality is ever possible.