Polly Creed is an award-winning director, writer, and activist. Her work focuses on themes of gender, social justice, and climate change. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Old Vic 12 and the Royal Court writer's group.
Polly is a founder of Power Play, a production company and think tank that carries out original data research around gender inequality in the arts, as well as producing women's stories of social injustice. Power Play's debut site-specific showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018 won a Fringe First for Emma Dennis-Edward's play, Funeral Flowers, and was listed as one of Lyn Gardner's picks of the Fringe in The Independent. Power Play are currently carrying out a pioneering study into gender inequality in UK theatre, looking at over 60 theatres across the UK. Read more about Power Play's work here.
Polly's activist and theatrical work has been featured in various papers and platforms, including The Independent, The Scotsman, The Stage, and The Guilty Feminist podcast. Meanwhile her writing has been shortlisted for a Sit Up Award and won Best New Writing at LSDF 2018. She has recently founded, True Name, a theatre company specialising in ecological and social theatre, and in July 2019 worked on a new collaboration with Plan B, the London College of Communication, Theatre 198 and The Tate, focusing on issues around climate change. The performance was staged at The Tate Modern. She is Arts and Outreach Ambassador for the Matchgirls Memorial.
Her play 'Humane' was performed in 2021 at the Pleasance Theatre and is published by Aurora Metro Books. It has been adapted as an audio drama series, hosted by The Arcola Theatre, The Omnibus Theatre, Compassion in World Farming, The Pleasance, and Theatre Deli Sheffield.
She is also currently developing a new documentary about Holloway Prison and directing The Straw Chair at the Finborough Theatre, London.
Photo: Katie Edwards
Cover art: Ali Wright
The Straw Chair
by Sue Glover
19 April-14 May 2022
“There is a lesson you should learn from your stay on Hirta: the danger of being too troublesome a wife.”
1735. Isabel, barely seventeen, is sent from Edinburgh and the life she has always known, to live with her new husband on Gaelic-speaking St Kilda, an island on the furthest edges of the Outer Hebrides, in the storm-tossed waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Struggling to adapt to island life, Isabel meets Rachel – a wild, seemingly mad woman, shunned by the local inhabitants. Over time, Isabel learns that Rachel is none other than the infamous Lady Grange, kidnapped by her husband following their bitter divorce and long imprisoned on the island. Lady Grange clings with tragic dignity to the two things she has left in the world – a consuming rage and an old straw chair.
Inspired by a true story, The Straw Chair is a modern Scottish classic, exploring liberty, marriage, madness and incarceration, and female empowerment, against the backdrop of the lost way of life of the Western Isles.
First performed in 1988 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in a co-production between Focus Theatre and the Traverse, and revived on an extensive Scottish tour in 2015, The Straw Chair finally receives its English premiere at the Finborough Theatre.
CARLA JOY EVANS
Presented by True Name Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre.
Interview on Radio 4's Loose Ends about Polly's play Humane
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