Comedian and writer Mark Steel brings his surprising and enthralling stand-up show, Who Do I Think I Am, to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this June.
Adopted shortly after his birth, Mark Steel has only recently unearthed the remarkable story about his birth parents.
The Guardian interviewed him about the extraordinary story behind his adoption:
When did he first learn about the circumstances of his birth? “I knew I was adopted, strangely, before I knew where babies came from. I didn’t feel different or special, and I don’t ever remember giving the slightest damn about it. I knew because my very lovely auntie Gwen would tell the story of how she got talking to a blonde girl, Frances, who had moved into a flat in the same house in London. She was 19.
“She was in a bit of a state because she was pregnant. Her parents didn’t know and she’d run away from home. It was 1959, so this wasn’t easy to deal with. So my auntie Gwen said to her, ‘Well, I’ve got a solution. Have the baby and give it to my brother.’ So this girl had me in 1960 and I was handed over to Doreen and Ernie.”
Only it wasn’t quite so straightforward, as Mark discovered decades later when, as with many adopted people, becoming a parent himself prompted thoughts about finding his birth mother. “I don’t know why I did it really,” he says, “but I can honestly say it wasn’t because I was searching for myself. I thought maybe she might like to know how I had turned out.”
Join Mark Steel for a moving and incredibly funny evening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Wednesday 28 June, 8.00pm. More info and tickets.
Mark Steel brings his independent and truly unique voice to our Festival of Independence. Find out more about the Festival.