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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

SHEWOVES by Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton is the Writer behind SHEWOVES, the hit Edinburgh Play which is currently play ing at The Southwark Playhouse. She is passionate in telling female-led stories about women who are up to something. We sat down with Sarah to find out more about her latest work.

Can you start by telling us a bit about the plot of ‘Shewolves’? Who is it about and where does the narrative take us?

SHEWOLVES is about two teenage girls who run away into the Peak District. It’s a coming-of-age comedy exploring the power of collective voices and the importance of female friendship. The play starts in Derby and ends in Butlins, via the Peak District and a near death bull attack.

What themes are explored through the play?

The play explores activism, speaking up against injustice and friendship. One of the characters is a

climate protestor so we explore the impact of climate change on Gen Z too.

I know the play touches on activism and climate change - does it have a political message?

It’s definitely political. The two characters Priya and Lou are from very different backgrounds with very different world views - so they both challenge each other. Overall the piece is in favour of young people raising their voices, having agency in their lives in big and small ways.

What inspired the play? What made you want to create a play with this topic, these themes?

Myself and Hannah Stone (Director) wanted to make something we wish we’d seen when we were teenagers. There’s very little theatre programmed specifically for teens, and there continues to be a lack of theatre about women making change in their lives. We wanted to respond to this lack and make something fun, empowering and uplifting, where teens could leave feeling a bit more hopeful about the world.

As writer, have you been involved with the ongoing production of the play?

As well as writing I co-run Shewolves Productions with Hannah Stone so we’re both very hands on when it comes to making creative decisions. We’ve also worked with producer Jake Orr and with the team at Southwark Playhouse so it’s very much been a team effort.

Can you tell us a bit about the cast and creative team?

We’re a female-led company which is reflected in the creative team and cast. We work primarily with female and non-binary artists, both on and off stage. Harriet Waters and Gurjot Dhaliwal are both pandemic graduates and they’ve been with the show since our Midlands tour in 2022, along with Steff Andrews our technical stage manager. Anna Reddyhoff (lighting) Ellie Isherwood (sound/composer) and Charlotte Henery (set and costume design) have worked with us since then too. It’s a dream team!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, now? Were you always aiming for a career in the arts? How did your career begin?

I trained in acting and had always wanted to be an actor - but during my twenties was pretty alarmed by reading roles for young women that were generally depressing or subservient. I moaned about it for a bit and then decided to start writing instead. Things have improved since then in terms of representation of women, but there’s a long way to go. In 2022 only 30% of mainstage shows were written by women or non-binary people and that’s not enough.

What have been the highlights of your career thus far?

SHEWOLVES! It‘s been an absolute peach of an experience. It’s shown me that women can run happy creative rooms and tell punchy stories that audiences care about. As an actor, my favourite job was Pomona at the National Theatre which was just the coolest script and a show that provoked really strong responses from audiences. It was invigorating and exciting to be a part of, and the cast was lovely. I can’t believe I got to work on it to be honest!

What aims and ambitions do you have for the future?

I’m hoping to see a lot more female-led theatre being commissioned. I’d love to continue to make work that develops new audiences - especially people who haven’t previously felt like theatre is for them. And of course I want to adopt a whole pack of rescue dogs.

What’s coming up next for you after this?

I’m spending the summer writing our next show (a thriller called Darkslide) and then writing a show for Derby Theatre. I’m also learning about screenwriting at the moment and I’ll be writing some TV in 2024.

SHEWOLVES by Sarah Middleton runs until 8th July


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