Interview: Linda Brogan, Award Winning Playwright


Linda’s Bio

Linda Brogan is a multi award-winning playwright. On attachment at the National Theatre, and the Writer in Resident at Contact Theatre before being produced at The Royal Exchange, The Royal Court, BBC Radio, The Arcola, and The Traverse. Her last play Speechless did a critically acclaimed 4 star national tour. Her focus: being born a slave to her colour, gender and class.

Her Business

Linda has been a playwright for 20 years and has started the process to become a producer.

What she’s working on right now

What she is working on right now, is a project that she began as a teenager, called Reno.

Her first money memory

She was about 18 months old. When her dad picked her up, she took a coin out of her dad’s pocket. She thought he didn’t know she was taking it, but he told her she was really cheeky.

Her worst money memory

Linda was about 10 or 11 years old, she was sent to pay a bill. She lost a fiver on the way there. Once she got home and told her dad, he slapped her across the face because money was already tight for her family and she had just lost money.
This has also brought up the memory that Linda is afraid to lose money. She is not alone in this thought process and a lot of think about losing money on a regular basis, so in order to help ourselves not lose money, we sabotage ourselves so that we don’t have the money or the opportunity to lose the money.

Her best money memory

She found 10 pence with her girlfriend one day and went into a sweet shop and bought and 10 sweets, then split the sweets between each other and just enjoyed them. This came at a point when she was really keeping herself on a tight budget and paying off her debt, so it was just a time when she could enjoy something sweet.
Tune in to today’s episode and then leave a comment below with your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. 
The Prosper + Profit Podcast Interviews Linda Brogan

Transcript for Episode 13 – Interview: Linda Brogan

Clarissa: This is episode 13 of the The Prosper & Profit Podcast.


  This is The Prosper & P where women talk about money and transformations, because being independent with money is sexy and profitable and money transformations are how you prosper with your money daily. And now for your host Clarissa Wilson.


  Linda grew up in a mixed-race family. Her mom was Irish and her father was Jamaican. They didn’t have a lot of money and Linda was always worried about money. Even to this day she is worried about money and has a poor relationship with her money. In this episode we dig into Linda’s money story and even re-write something in her money story. Plus, we figure out what Linda has learned about how she has changed her money story on her own, but didn’t actually realize it.


  Linda Brogan is a multi-award winning playwright on attachment at The National Theater and the writer in resident at Contact Theater, before being produced at the Royal Exchange, the Royal Court, BBC Radio, The Arcola, and the Traverse. Her last play, “Speechless,” did a critically claimed four star national tour. Her focus is being born a slave to her color, gender, and class. Now let’s hear from Linda.


  Hi Linda, thank you for joining me today to share more about your money story, how it began, and what you have done to change it over the years. We’ve heard your professional bio, so now can you break it down a little bit more and tell us more about you, your business and what’s one big thing that you’re working on right now?


Linda: Me my business, I’ve been a playwright for 20 years, and I’m just turning into a producer, so I’m going to start producing me own stuff as well instead of waiting for gatekeepers to tell me what to do, or allow me to do things. The thing that I’m really, really excited about at the moment is that, when I was a teenager, 40 years ago, I used to go to this club called The Reno, which is really infamous in Massaid, and most of alls that went there, 80% of alls, was mixed-race, or, as we prefer to call ourselves, half-cast. What I’m going to do is, it’s been demolished since 1986 and next year they’re going to build on the land. Before they build on the land I’m going to excavate The Reno and before with Sulford University, before I excavate The Reno, we’re going to collect our archive online over 16 weeks.


  We’re not just going to tell random stories, I’ve already worked out the spine of our story, of our rise and fall from ’71 to 1981, so each day from Monday to Wednesday I’m going to write a blog online on a specific website and they’re going to lash their stories to that vertebrae so over the time it’ll build like, it’s be like game of throwns, because we’ve got super [inaudible 00:03:07], we’ve got all sorts of things involved. Then at the end of that our online audience and all should be absolutely dying to see what we unearth when we get to the site.


  What we’re hoping is when they demolish the building and wall they just demolish it into the cellar club bellow, so when we take rubble out we’re hoping that our 30, 35 years ago that the bar and the dance floor and everything is still there, just all decrepit and ghost-like and because everybody’s been following us and we’ve been following us our stories will be imbued in every screw we pull out. It should be really, really exciting and then after we’ve excavated it we’re going to have a theatrical open night where you have the holes open, all the artifacts is taken out, there on marquise on their own.


  Then we’re going to put some of the archive, some of the spoken archive, because I forgot to say that every Thursday I’m going to have an interview with a relevant protagonist from that bit of the story. It had it’s own king and queen and stuff. One of the interviews will be with King Frank and things. At the end, when we’ve got the hole, we’re going to light it like it was The Reno and put our voices coming from, because there was the top three tables inside this tiny little club its got a complete civilization and you’ve got to get from the position you began, the first night you ever went down, you’ve got to make it to the top three tables and it can take like two years of kissing different courtiers bottoms and stuff like that.


  The last open night will be a wake and we’ll have a bonfire and we’ll sit round, have a weed and a brandy, and say goodbye because we’ll never see it again once it’s built on. That’s what I want to tell you.


Clarissa: That is amazing and it sounds so cool to be able to do that.


Linda: Thank you.


Clarissa: So now I want to dive a little more into your money story. Can you tell us what your first money memory is that you can remember?


Linda: Taking 10p, it’s a florin, it was called then, out of me dad’s pocket when he picked me up out of the car. That’s the first thing I ever remember about money and him laughing and saying I was cheeky. I must’ve been, at the maximum, 18 months.


Clarissa: What really makes you remember that memory?


Linda: Because it was a time when we were happy as a family. I remember being loved. But also I cannot understand why as a baby I was a baby I would be so bothered about money out of me dad’s pocket that I think he doesn’t know that I’m taking. It’s just really interesting. I must have always had a fixation with money from really little.


Clarissa: How else was it like with money when you were growing up? How did your parents actually deal with money?


Linda: Me dad was really, really mean, really, really tight. Like everything mattered. He was psychotic about it. At the house we had horrible thin towels and no luxuries, we never went on holiday. Me mum was always moaning about money and he was always ripping me mum off, like he’d say could she get him some milk and some bread, and then when he come back he wouldn’t pay it back, things like that. But then when I went to Jamaica is 1974, because me mum’s Irish and me dad’s Jamaican, when I went to Jamaica and I seen where me dad came from he made sense, because it was like I’d walked back into slavery. They were still cooking on rocks outside and we had little [inaudible 00:07:07] huts, about as big as my living room, the whole family lived in there. To him a pound was the difference between life and death and he brought that with him to England. Whereas me mum being Irish had a Western way of thinking about money, do you know what I mean?


Clarissa: Yup. Where you ever worried about money when you were growing up?


Linda: Always, right to this day, Clarissa, money worries me. I have a really terrible relationship with money, absolutely.


Clarissa: Why does it still worry you today?


Linda: I can’t explain it really. I really have to struggle with it. I really have to kind of go, no, you can’t have a coffee and a cake. I’m really, really dead-put about paying me bills, I’m religious. Everything’s on direct debit. Everything goes out. But anything that is not just getting by is a problem. I buy second-hand clothes, I buy second-hand furniture, but I do like them. Then I’ll have the odd mad flurry where I’ll buy a 300 pound coat. But then I don’t where that coat because it cost 300 pounds so it now lives in the wardrobe in a moth jacket that cost 30 quid in itself. I’m psychotic.


Clarissa: Why would you spend money that you really don’t have? You mentioned that you bought a 300 pound coat. Why would you buy that 300 pound coat and not wear it?


Linda: Because it might get damaged. If I’ve got a second-hand coat that costs 10 pounds, because I like style. If I’ve got a second-hand coat and I can sit on the floor and it can rain on it and it can do whatever, I’m comfortable. If I’ve got a 300 pound coat on I feel like a superstar when I’m walking down, I love it, but if it started raining I’d have to run to the nearest shop til it stopped. It’s uncomfortable.


Clarissa: I’m only asking because its, by buying something that you want, but you really can’t afford at the time, that’s just part of your money relationship. That’s why I’m trying to dig into that a little bit more. I understand that you’re afraid of damaging it because it costs so much. But that’s part of buying stuff that you can enjoy, is being able to actually enjoy it.


Linda: That’s exactly where the problem is. Being able to understand that money is only money and my lie is to be enjoyed. That is exactly where the problem is. When me dad died, he had about 30,000 pounds in savings that he could of just enjoyed when he knew he was not well. What was the point?


Clarissa: I get it. I’m just trying to dig into it a little bit more so that my audience can understand, too. I know a lot of people who do this as well. They’ll buy something that they really, really want, like you bought the 300 pound coat, and then they don’t fully enjoy it or, like you mentioned, having a lot of money in savings and not being able to enjoy that. That’s just part of our own relationships with money and we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy that.


Linda: What’s your own relationship with money in that way? Are you comfortable with money?


Clarissa: Yes. Very. But I’ve been working on this for years and that’s why I teach on this stuff because, and that’s why I’m doing this podcast with these interviews to help people see that someone else does have a similar relationship to money like you do and they’ve made changes. You may not notice the changes that you’ve made because you’ve already mentioned that you have a hard relationship with money, but you’ve still made changes since the time you were a child until now because you did buy that coat. From what I heard about when you were growing up, you probably wouldn’t have bought that coat if you hadn’t made some changes at least.


Linda: I’ve definitely been making incremental changes for about two years. About two years ago somebody bought me “The Secret,” and that was an absolute revelation, to say you can have things and to try and start changing your mindset. As you’re talking I’m coming to understand that it takes more than five minutes. Like you just said you’ve been doing it for years. When I got “The Secret” I remember reading that and just feeling a kind of hallelujah and a real light softening in me soul about, oh it’s okay, to want things. It’s not that I’m a bad, bad person, and all them things that you think. Gradually since then, like I said, I’ve been allowing myself to have coffee and cake.


  I remember I bought, mad things, like I bought a shopping trolly. One that I really wanted for 35 pounds. I remember that feeling of, can I afford it? Can I afford it? What “The Secret” teaches you is to always say, “I can afford it.” I remember that. The moment that I bought it and I was wheeling the food home it was completely luxurious and necessary now. Now I’ve progressed from the shopping trolley to I get a taxi home. That’s a huge progression. That’s over two years.


Clarissa: That’s an awesome progression. I like how you explained that. You wouldn’t even buy the shopping trolley, you’d walk home by carrying your bags. Then you bought the shopping trolley to make it easier to get your groceries home. Then you started taking a taxi. I like that progression. That’s perfect.


Linda: Thank you. I don’t feel anything about paying that taxi. It’s the next change. Where it would’ve been a completely ponderous watching the meter all the way home. Now it’s just part of my life.


Clarissa: You have made more changes than you give yourself credit for. That’s part of what we’re doing in these interviews: we’re helping you realize that you’ve made more changes and just the little changes that you’ve made, they can help someone else who listens to this as well.


Linda: That’d be great. It is such a prison. It is such a prison to feel like that and it’s also kind of a weird shameful thing as well, because it’s not something you tell anybody. It’s not something you realize your doing, either, until it’s pointed out.


Clarissa: Yeah. Can you tell us what your worst money memory is?


Linda: Well, again linked to me dad. When I was about ten or 11, because a million years ago you used to get sent to the shop a lot younger than that, and I think I’d been sent to pay a bill and I lost a fiver. When I came back, because my dad was normally quite charming and whatever, and when I came back he slapped me across the face. It was shocking. It was shocking for me dad to be like that. It was shocking that I’d lost the money. The journey home was shocking and frightening. That’s the worst memory linked to money. It kind of might make sense, don’t it really? If you think about it that I have a relationship … A bad relationship with money.


Clarissa: It sounds like part of your relationship with money really stems to you feel like you’re going to loose money.


Linda: Possibly. Yeah, possibly, Clarissa, I’d never thought of that. It’s danger. It’s always dangerous. If I go to go on a train and I’m going to book it online it takes me like three days to make sure I’ve got the time right, in case I get it wrong. That, I suppose, is latched to being afraid of loosing money.


Clarissa: You’ve already lost money and the way that you’ve explained that memory, that’s something that’s really in the forefront of your mind. It’s something you do think about, whether is consciously or subconsciously you do think about this memory and it’s something where you feel, even to this day, that you’re going to loose money. Whether you loose it by missing your train, or you loose it by dropping it the same way you did when you where 10 or 11.


Linda: I’d not put the two things together but now, yeah.


Clarissa: What is your best money memory?


Linda: Me best money memory is finding 10 pence with me girlfriend when we was completely broke and going into the shop and buying a 10p mix. Which means you get 10 sweets, like sticky sweets, and sharing it and having five each. That’s me best money memory.


Clarissa: What made it so enjoyable?


Linda: What made it so enjoyable was because we were really both getting out of debt. It was really like, we’re going to be good, we’re going to be good, and we’re going to pay these things, and it was a really close time between us because then we had to look at different recipes to keep making cheap things. We lost loads of weight, we looked really fantastic. Then it was this glorious moment of something you’re not supposed to have. Five sweets each. Just the way we were laughing and everything meant that 10 p meant so much. It’s about being in love as well.


Clarissa: Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have?


Linda: No, not really. Except if you’d like to ask me?


Clarissa: No, that’s all the questions that I have. I just have three fun questions to ask you to finish off the interview.


Linda: Okay.


Clarissa: What is one investment that you make every month that is a non-negotiable, never-cancel investment. You can’t cancel this. It’s one thing that you buy every month.


Linda: The two go together. It’s essential oils and candles.


Clarissa: How do they help you?


Linda: I just love nice smells. I love nice smells and it’s beauty. I love beauty. I love nice smells and I love beauty. I hate harsh light so I do a whole Romeo and Juliet setting every night for me self. I have candles everywhere. I always have a bath with candles. It’s luxury, they both mean luxury to me. I only ever buy Neal Yard’s essential oils. I only ever buy good quality essential oils because they smell better and the packaging is better and things like that.


Clarissa: If you woke up tomorrow morning and everything that you have right now, all of your belonging and your money was gone, what would you do?


Linda: Repeat the questions, please.


Clarissa: If you woke up tomorrow morning, and everything you have right now, all of your belongings and all of your money was gone, what would you do?


Linda: Travel. If everything was gone, the first thing I’d do is I would find some money somewhere, enough money to go Europe, because I’ve now got no possessions to worry about storing or anything, go to Europe and I would work me way around Europe with only what I’ve got. I’ve always wanted to do that and what stops me is possessions, is loving everything that I’ve already got, and storage and that. That’s what I would do, absolutely. I’d find 100 pounds somewhere to get a ferry to the tip of Europe and I would set off from there.


Clarissa: What famous person do people tell you that you resemble?


Linda: Shirley Baseey


Clarissa: What was that?


Linda: Shirley Baseey


Clarissa: Okay. I would like to thank you for joining us here today, Linda. It has been so great to learn more about you and your money story. You already know that no two money stories are exactly the same. Everyone that we get to hear from always helps someone new.


Linda: Thank you, Clarissa. Thanks for having me on. It was really enjoyable. Thank you.


Clarissa: Thank you.


  The show notes for this episode and all other episodes can be found on I hope you would leave a comment on the show notes page for this episode and let us know what your biggest takeaway was for today. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so that you never miss an episode.


Clarissa Wilson

About the Author

Clarissa Wilson

Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farm and learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.

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