Pulborough’s Sarah Milton, a former student at Steyning Grammar School, heads to Edinburgh with her one-woman show, Tumble Tuck which she also performs.
Produced by Back Here!, it will be at The Underbelly at the 70th Edinburgh Fringe Festival from August 3-27.
The Old Vic Theatre in London Waterloo and their artistic development team Old Vic New Voices presented the piece at Wilderness Festival, Oxford in August 2016, and then The Soho Theatre did the same as part of their Soho Rising Season in October last year – and then Back Here! Theatre Company picked it up.
“I started writing it in 2015,” says Sarah, “and at that point I was 23. I feel that between the ages of 19 and 23 is when we really start to discover who we want to be, what we want to do, what our voice is. It’s when you find your voice and think how you want to be heard in the world.
“But going through all that is really difficult. It is difficult to define your own success and to know whether you are good enough.
“There is so much social media comparison and judgement in our society. You turn on the TV and there are all these programmes about whether you can bake well enough, whether you can sing well enough, how good your British talent is, and that’s quite an overwhelming thing. How do you define whether you are good at what you are doing? How you look for validation?
“When I was writing this, I was doing a lot of swimming. I was thinking I was doing a really good session one day, on the way to 40 or 50 lengths, and then this local triathlon team in the next lane started swimming and they just smashed me out of the park. And that made me feel really awful about what I was doing.
“At that age I had made a decision about wanting to become an artist, about wanting to be a writer and an actor and to really commit to that when all my friends were getting mortgages and doing grown-up things, making really adult decisions… and there was I taking this big risk.
“It was all a personal journey, and I think that is all encompassed in this play, in the character of Daisy, the main character – though I play all of the characters. It is a one-woman show.
“It encompasses what it means to become a woman, what it means to become an adult. She talks about herself. But writing is a very personal thing. It’s your personal experiences, and you can feel very, very vulnerable. When you first see someone read it, that’s the most vulnerable moment for a writer. Everything was in your head, and you are thinking ‘Please tell me other people think this too…”
Sarah grew up in West Chiltington and later Pulborough. She attended Rydon Community College in Storrington and Steyning Grammar School and sixth form in Steyning. She then trained professionally as an actor at Mountview Academy in London.
Once she has finished her Edinburgh stint, she will be launching into a second play of hers, Lucy Light at the Theatre N16, Balham, London (September 19-October 7).
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