Looked After Children by Eva Edo
I have a passion for contemporary plays which are original and provoke debate. I currently write plays which poise questions about the challenges of contemporary life. I have a particular interest in the influence and impact of “the state” (local government, social care, police, immigration agencies etc.) on modern Britain and its communities.
Q&A with Eva Edo
Why did you write the play and what inspired you?
I am a child protection lawyer by trade, which has so far influenced and underpinned my writing. I was inspired to write “Looked After Children” (LAC) after being involved with a group that monitors the services supplied to children by a London local authority. It was in this role I gained an insight into the State’s role as a “corporate parent” and how it deals with the children in its care.
At the time when I started LAC, I was involved in a production at The Royal Court theatre. Being in such an inspirational and special place, encouraged me to focus on my creativity and gave me the push I needed to get on with writing LAC.
I wrote the play because I am fascinated with the impact that the State and society has on its communities. In particular here, how we as a society look after our children but do not necessarily care for them. I wanted to go beyond an expose of the shortcomings of the care system which is fast becoming a political debate but instead explore the theme of unconventional relationships to include child sex exploitation through the voice of troubled characters who the State and society has let down.
Where would you like your play to be performed?
Everywhere!! In reality though, I would like LAC to be embraced by theatres both in London and regionally which champion brave new writing like The Royal Court, Soho, Tricycle, The Bush, Nottingham Play House etc. etc.
I am a great believer that theatre is for all and as such I would like LAC to be made accessible to wider audiences, which may not traditionally venture to theatre. I would also like young people to see LAC because essentially it is about a slice of time in the life of a 15-year-old girl and the challenges she faces.
What do you want audiences to take from the play?
I write plays, which I would like to see. Consequently I would like audiences to experience and feel what I would if I was a member of the audience. In other words, I want them to be transported to Alicia’s world, to live it for the duration of the play and believe it. I want their emotions to be moved and their thoughts provoked. I want the audience to challenge their perceptions of unconventional relationships and how we care for one another and in particular vulnerable children. Ultimately, I want the play and the issues/ emotions/ ideas it churns up to stay with the audience long after it has left the theatre.
Which playwright/writer do you admire and why?
My love of plays and playwrights is an eclectic mix spanning from the traditional such as Shakespeare and Chehov to contemporary new writers. I really enjoy the drama of Greek Tragedies too. Every genre of writing has something to offer and from which I can learn. I am particularly drawn to female writers such as Sarah Kane whose work is uncompromising and experimental. I enjoy plays, which say something about contemporary society and I admire the work of writers like Rachel De- Lahay.
What do I want to achieve as a playwright?
On a personal level I want to write full time, continue to learn from others and grow as an emerging playwright.
I will strive to continue to write thought provoking brave plays, which explore the challenges of contemporary life and specifically, how the State impacts and influences its communities in so many different ways.
I would like my plays commissioned and to work collaboratively with supportive producers and theatres.
I look forward to being able to sit back with pride and watch my plays performed by talented diverse groups of actors.
I hope my plays will be shared with a wide range of audiences who are not only excited and moved by what they see but also remember it.