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Young Writer Louise Singleton in Conversation

Louise's Picture
Louise drew us a picture for Stakes and Ladders, her play for this year’s Momentum festival.


Stakes and Ladders is about the cut-throat world of big business today and how the fat-cats see their employees purely as tools for their own self advancement rather than as real human beings with families, mortgages and aspirations. The main character is called ‘man’, his wife ‘wife’, daughter ‘daughter’ so the play can therefore be about anyone in any job at any time. It’s really a universal piece.

The title serves to tie these two strands together. Obviously a play on words, it shows that the business world has become a game where the ‘ladders’ of promotion are usually accessible at the expense of others and how the stakes of the ordinary worker, man, are raised by this.

People I know have been thrown around from job to job, company to company in mergers and takeovers with very little thought ever invested in what they feel and seeing if their needs are being met. Stakes and Ladders is written, in a way, to confront that and whilst also incorporating a broader comment on what I’ve seen of life now becoming structured around the thirst for money and power which is taught to us from school onwards.

My experience in playwriting only amounts to around two years but I had previously written poems and short stories. When at university, I studied drama at Loughborough, I took a playwriting module and the joining theatre and my creative writing seemed very much suited to me. I wrote a piece called Locked which has subsequently been produced by the students’ drama society. After enjoying this experience so much I carried on and wrote Circled which in a minimalist, Steven Berkoff kind-of way looks at Jack the Ripper. My tutor on this project gave me some really high praise so I have now returned to the text and am planning to expand it post-Momentum.

Along with working on Circled my main concern, along with many new graduates, is getting a job. I’m working on my first collaborative project with another writer, Luke Kaile, in which we want to explore Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I’m also planning on entering a few as yet unwritten shorts into competitions and have returned to my poetry so have plenty to be keeping me busy.

As a final question, I’ve been asked to decide which six guests I would invite to a swanky dinner party. First, Stephen Fry – he’s my all time greatest idol and has achieved so much which is what I want to do. Second, Kurt Cobain – he and his music have inspired me to do  many things, for example learn to play the guitar. Third, Martin McDonagh – he has been a massive influence on the theatre I write and make, plus I can get my own back on him for me writing my dissertation on him and it proving to be so difficult. Fourth, God – just to see if he turns up; and finally my mum and dad – I’ve never been able to do anything really spectacular without their support and I feel that they deserve it for putting up with me and my stresses.

Stakes and Ladders is being presented as part of the Momentum festival at the Leicester Curve on Saturday 30th October in the Extract III slot along with 2 other pieces.

For tickets and more information please see Curve’s website.

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