Former Steyning Grammar School student Sarah Milton is looking forward to a London run for her one-woman play Tumble Tuck.
Sarah, who grew up in Pulborough and now lives in Hove, is the sole performer in the piece that headlines an all-female season at The King’s Head Theatre, London, from Tuesday, April 24.
Sarah offers Tumble Tuck as a funny and heartfelt piece that seeks to examine self-worth in young women today and the pressure we put on winning when sometimes simply taking part is the real achievement.
As Sarah says: “A bronze medal to one person is someone else’s gold; a C grade is someone else’s A. Tumble Tuck questions the system that tells us that if we haven’t won, we’ve failed.”
With music by Harry Blake and direction by Tom Wright, the show tells the story of Daisy, a young woman struggling to accept herself and realise her strength. Her relationship with the water is complex; it’s the only place where she feels safe, so why must she be judged for how well she performs in it?
“The pressure on young people, particularly women, to look a certain way, achieve life goals and fit in with social expectations is enormous. Tumble Tuck explores the journey of a young woman going through exactly these pressures and is inspired by my own experiences.”
Sarah continues: “Tumble Tuck is a play I wish I’d seen as a young adult, and I’m ecstatic that the show has been chosen to transfer to The King’s Head Theatre to headline its all-female festival. We received a fantastic response from audiences that saw the play at Edinburgh and I can’t wait to introduce Daisy to London.
“Tumble Tuck really began from growing up, from being a teenager, from that transition from being a teenager to being a woman that generally happens between 16 and 19 and you start getting called a lady. It’s a coming-of-age story at a time when people are so much under attack from social media, a real attack on people’s confidence. It’s awful. People are always describing and exclaiming their success. There is no sense of the stages towards that achievement. It is always ‘Look at this! I have done this! Like me and validate my achievement!’
“The play is about a young girl who is about 20 years old and is still to discover who she is. She really doesn’t know. Daisy finds herself in her local swim team. She has got through a personal difficulty with her first boyfriend, and she has a tempestuous relationship with her mother. And she loses one of her friends. There is betrayal and issues of trust and also of feeling comfortable with her body.
“I definitely drew on my own experiences of my own mental health. I suffered anxiety and bouts of depression growing up. I have experienced counselling and medication. I feel much better in myself now. Definitely writing is very therapeutic.”
“I was swimming a lot when I was writing this,” adds Sarah. “The combination of writing and dealing with my own mental health and the routine of swimming and the safety of swimming were very important.”
Performance dates: April 24-May 12, 7pm; Sunday matinees, 3.30pm. King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN.
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