Meet The Kick-Ass Female British Playwrights Taking The Screen By Storm

Polly Stenham, Rachel Hirons, EV Crowe and Laura Wade: These are the hot Brit talents giving the small - and big- screen a serious cool over...

The one with issues:
EV (Emma) Crowe, 32


Stage times… Former youth worker Crowe delved into the psyche 
of a pre-pubescent girl for her acclaimed stage debut Kin in 2010 and she has explored social issues ever since.

Now showing… EV can’t get enough of the dark side, writing episodes for 
drug-fuelled teenage murder mystery Glue for E4 and Talking to the Dead on Sky Living, which shows this autumn.


Script notes… The young writers’ programme at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009 gave London-based EV her big break. ‘The withdrawal of arts funding is a real crisis,’ she has said. ‘You get the same old voices – most playwrights are disappointingly middle class.’

The girl’s girl:
Rachel Hirons, 25

Stage times… Kingston graduate Hirons’ LOL-some confessionals When Women Wee (2011’s lairy portrayal of nightclub toilet banter) and A Guide to Second Date Sex (2012) both premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe festival before transferring to London’s Soho Theatre.

Now showing… The pilot 
of her BBC3 sitcom Vodka Diaries showed this summer, about four women pushing 30 who are still stuck in a flatshare. She’s also writing three (yes, three) films, including a screen adaptation of Emma Garcia’s chick-lit novel Never Google Heartbreak.

Script notes… Hirons always casts a female lead. ‘The real fun comes when I push my female characters to do and say things I’m not brave enough to,’ she tells us. Case in point? Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winstone put on some serious front in Powder Room, the 2012 movie adaptation of When Women Wee. Go, girl.

The hotshot:
Laura Wade, 36


Stage times… Wade’s subject matters span from a comedy about a woman dying from bone cancer in Colder Than Here, to Posh, a cheeky nod to Boris and Dave’s Eton dining club The Bullingdon. Any resemblance to the politicians is totally coincidental, obvs.


Now showing… Laura’s written Posh for the big screen (now called The Riot Club), casting hot Brit actors Douglas Booth, Max Irons and Sam Claflin in her toff-tastic gang. Nice work if you can get it.

Script notes… The Bedford-born gal insists she doesn’t have anything against posh people. Honestly. ‘Someone once asked me what Old Etonians had ever done to me, as if I was enacting some dreadful personal slight against an ex-boyfriend!’

The talk of the town:
Polly Stenham, 27


Stage times… When we were sleeping through our uni lectures, 19-year-old Stenham was writing her critically acclaimed 2007 stage debut That Face, casting Lindsay Duncan and Matt Smith in a sell-out run at London’s Duke of York’s theatre. Two more hits, Tusk Tusk and No Quarter, followed, until the ambitious writer decided to take on the world.

Now showing… Billie Piper leads in Stenham’s first screenwriting project, Sky Arts’ Foxtrot, about a girl-gang heist. Up next, she’s redefining ‘women in horror’ for her first movie I Walk With the Dead, starring Carey Mulligan. And there’s not a blood-splattered bombshell in sight.

Script notes… Pally with R-Patz, she was branded ‘the other woman’ after photos of them appeared when he split from K-Stew. Polly, we’re trying to feel sorry for you, here.

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