Pulborough performer takes one-woman play to Edinburgh

Sarah Milton as Daisy in Tumble Tuck. Picture by Scott Rylander
Sarah Milton as Daisy in Tumble Tuck. Picture by Scott Rylander

Pulborough’s Sarah Milton 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 Theatre 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.”

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.

And 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, which will run from September 19-October 7.

Lucy Light began its journey on the week long HighTide Writer’s Academy 2015, in association with Chichester Festival Theatre, for 16-25-year olds.

“I was 23 and wrote the last scene first whilst attending the academy. This scene was showcased at The HighTide Festival in Aldeburgh that same year. After that, I began writing the whole play. “In May 2016, Lucy Light was presented as one of the top six submitted plays to The Steyning Festival as a professional reading. It now receives its full professional production from the Theatre N16, this September and is Scott Ellis’ inaugural production that he directs as artistic director for the venue.”

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