When we talk about playwrights, it is essential that we realise the talent that is arising from our own generation. Playwright, actress and director Lily Lowe-Myers has continuously produced high quality and poignant new writing over the last nine years in London and is one to appreciate in years to come.
Lowe co-runs theatre company Hatstand Productions alongside life-long best friend and fellow dramaturg Robyn Cooper. Together they perform Lowe’s writing and present powerful two-hander shows that are normally an hour in length.
Lowe is now on her fifth play as writer in residence at the Bridewell Theatre in London. The success of Lowe’s first writing and the award-winning tour of Truth’s Vision was followed by Lowe’s second musical, Nicola, with the talented composer Omar Shahryar. As Nicola toured around the UK and Ibiza. Lowe had another residency at Bridewell with comedy Cleopatra’s Key. Lowe’s first three plays were a generous mix of down-to-earth dialogue and musical theatre with ballads that showed the power of her classically trained voice.
Each Hatstand production I saw, I knew I wanted to come back again. Out of her four plays I have had the pleasure of seeing, the eloquent writing of Never the Same stood out to me the most. Never the Same was Lowe’s fourth show, but first straight drama. The show won the Ms Shakespeare Festival before again touring to Ibiza last year. The progression in Lowe’s writing meant that by this fourth play the writing had really found its own and should be recognised as a modern classic. The story was a rollercoaster of emotions dealing with themes of motherhood: one woman had lost her child, and her best friend (who works in a hospital) takes a baby that had been presumed dead to console her. This tale of love and trust between two friends, in touching moments of vulnerability, had audience members riveted for its 45-minute performance.
Lowe’s plays have a huge range, from comedy to drama, musical theatre to Brechtian to naturalism. Lowe is a writer who brings to life many raw and poignant issues that women face and challenge in contemporary culture; from issues on motherhood, to dependency and what it means to be happy in our own right.
This month, Cooper and Lowe have brought another influential two-handed performance to the Bridewell theatre in London, which I am sure will build on the success of the last. This new straight-drama play Happiness explores the power of medication to create happiness and distract from deeper problems, a topic of growing concern in our society.
The description of the play states: “Everybody is searching for happiness. But what if it was the only emotion allowed? In a utopian dystopia not too many years from our own, a woman finds herself at a crossroads. Does she say goodbye to regret, fear and anger or fight for the right to suffer?”.
The show runs until the 17th November, and is written by Lily Lowe-Myers, performed by Robyn Cooper and Lily Lowe-Myers, and directed by Matt Costain. Due to the success of her previous award-winning shows and the continuous production of high-quality writing and performance. I am sure Happiness is a show that should not be missed.
Photo Credit:Donald tong via pexels.