Q&A | Leah Cowan | Playwright

To get you ready for Scripts & Giggles we’ve been talking to the writers about their plays and working as a playwright.

Leah’s beautifully observed A Feast For Franz, is a darkly comic piece depicting a married couple eating their way through the contents of their thawed-out fridge while they chew the fat of their lives, kids and careers; but Franz isn’t quite telling Mira everything.

What prompted you to write A Feast for Franz?
I started off with the image of a table covered in food, and a couple eating their way through it (the food, not the table), and kind of worked backwards from there. I should probably stop trying to write when I’m hungry.

What do you think the audience will like about it?
Working on the shaky hypothesis that the audience do like any part of it, it’d be really nice if they liked my favourite bits- these mainly revolve around puns.
I’m really intrigued to see which parts the audience respond to, and which parts inevitably fall flat. Intrigue heavily soused in terror.

How do you hope the piece will develop throughout the rehearsal process and its performance in Descent?
I’m assuming that the incredibly bad puns will just effortlessly evolve into elegant soliloquies denigrating the arms industry, and other lofty and hard-hitting topics, in perfect iambic pentameter. Aside from this, I’m just really excited to work with Descent and to get some wise and sensible eyes and ears on my writing, and for this process to be quite brutal and critical. It’s great to get the opportunity to work closely with a creative team, and to really understand the ways in which your writing is failing to, or hopefully has the potential to say something interesting.

How did you get into writing?
I wrote my first book when I was five- it was a one-page, one-word novella called Cat, about a cat, and the first and simultaneously ultimate page said “cat”. The teaching assistant Mrs Blunt kindly laminated the front cover for me with sticky-back plastic. Since then I’ve written some painfully self-aware diaries, banal articles, book and exhibition reviews, essays, stories, poems, plays, and some really poignant shopping lists.

Which writers inspire you?
Salima Hill, Angela Carter, James Baldwin, Frank Wedekind, Ivan Vladislavic and Guillaume Laurant.

What’s your favourite play and why?
Breath by Samuel Beckett. It’s a veritable romp, and epiphanically solidified my love for theatre.

A Feast for Franz will be performed as part of Scripts & Giggles on 14th July at the Cockpit. More info

About Leah
Leah studied Social Anthropology of Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and funded her penchant for Cultural Marxism, and an abusive relationship with ginger nut biscuits by working at a frozen yoghurt shop in Covent Garden.
She currently works as an administrator for a charity in East London, where her favourite type of ring-binder is lever-arch. To date, she has had several articles published in arts and culture magazines Snipe, The Londonist, and The Culture Trip. A Feast for Franz is her first play.

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