It is a limp and mizzling Friday evening in November when I make my way across Clapham Common to the Omnibus Theatre with my boyfriend to see Joe Eyre’s Tiger, directed by Myles O’Gorman. Two rows of chairs on either side of the theatre face an outlandishly long runaway, carpeted with kitschy pink faux fur. Atop the stage, cross legged, facing the back of the theatre, away from both sides of audience, sits a woman swaddled in a bunny-ear-hooded, pink, fur poncho. Her head is bent down, and she is alone as the remaining audience take their seats.
The first act begins with Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby), still wearing her bunny pyjamas, struggling her way through a painful comedy routine. She holds a microphone in one hand over explaining her jokes and implores the audience to laugh, waving her other hand around in desperation. Suddenly she is overcome with panic and starts to breathe anxiously. Calling from the back of the stage, her partner Oli (Luke Nunn) wakes Alice from her nightmare and offers her reassurance. Alice had been a stand-up comedian before the death of her father, but a year on, she is so numbed by her grief that she is no longer leaving the house. Oli, an A&E doctor, is responsible for both her emotional needs and the couple’s living costs.
Announcing themselves by way of a knock-knock joke, a mysterious and absurd stranger (Meg Lewis) arrives to fill the ad. So, a-typical, both animalistic and supernatural, the audience is never wholly sure that they are real. But the bond between Alice and this person is instantaneous, and she offers them the room without meeting the other applicants or consulting Oli. Although initially unsure, he agrees to rent the room to the stranger and in light of the bright orange pinstripe suit and long tail that he wears, the couple name the individual Tiger. However, Tiger becomes both a blessing and a curse for the couple that we meet in a dark period for their relationship, drawing out dark secrets and underscoring the surreality of grief.
Agnès Houghton-Boyle has the chance to speak to Myles O’Gorman, the play’s OFFIE award nominated director, about his work on Tiger.
Photo: Harry Elletson
When Tiger comes to live with the couple we already sense that Alice and Oli have been looking for a third person to come between them and ease more than a financial strain in their dynamic. Tiger senses this too and takes on the carer role that has been Oli’s. The characters communicate this implicitly before they even speak and are also able to do so in a way that is darkly funny. How were you able to conjure such a strong dynamic between the cast?
Partly it was to do with their personalities: Poppy, Luke and Meg, just got on so well. In terms of process, they were able to work how I work, so when we had a real shared language for the three weeks of rehearsal. So the direction could be very light touch. I felt that I could just facilitate their relationship and their discovery of these characters rather than be quite hands on. It was about establishing a route for them to play and feed off of each other. Plus they were all and they are all incredibly silly, the room was just very silly.
Judging that the people you cast will be able to work well together is a real skill, but also ultimately a game of chance. Has that ever been a concern for you in your practice?
Yes, all the time. The eternal struggle with theatre is that it's both a job and a vocation and a lifestyle. You give so much of yourself to theatre but on a day-to-day basis you want to be able to remove yourself in the sense that you feel as though you’re going into work, that the rehearsal room is like an office. That's difficult because it's not and you have to work flexibly in theatre, but it is necessary to create a nice working environment. I’ve never had an office job, but I imagine that it’s much nicer to work in the kind of office where everyone is kind to each other and works well alongside each other.
I think that’s half the job isn’t it, the politics?
A hundred percent, it means you can all work well together. You don’t have to be best mates, but you do want to be able to have this shared sense of communication. Particularly with this show, which is about grief you need to feel like you trust each other, to explore that in the room, to explore the intimacy between Alice and Oli’s relationship. I have a certain responsibility in creating that environment; it’s me alongside my team deciding who is in the room. This process was difficult because we had a first round of auditions, but I had covid during the second, so I was sat in my room with a very brain foggy mind over Zoom while everyone else was in the space. But I knew how important it was for me to get a gauge on not only A. if you right for the part but also B. will this team work together in the room? It’s a two-pronged thing, and the worst thing is when you get into the rehearsal room, and you can feel that the room is slightly toxic. You can always make something of it, but it effects not only the work, but mental well-being. As a director, I’d be lucky to be able to direct one play every year. I’ve been working on the script for Tiger with Joe for a year now, and as soon as I finished my last play, which was a year and a half ago, I started this. A project is so long gestation before it’s actually on, so you inevitably place a lot of importance on it. For me, a three-week rehearsal period might be the only time I’m in a rehearsal room in a whole year, and it’s the most exciting, fun and amazing part of it, so if the rehearsal room isn’t healthy, fun and creating excellent work, then it feels disappointing.
Do you feel that’s something you’ve learnt to gauge more as you gain experience in your practice?
It’s a bit of chance and luck. I was lucky with this process to have worked with some of the team before, and actually all three of the actors have a connection with someone in the project, which, for me at least, is quite rare. I first worked with Meg, who plays Tiger, and is incredible in the role - who and was just nominated for an OFFIE Award, in my last play The Blue House at the Elephant Theatre. They were exceptional in that play and became a part of, Helikon, the theatre company, that I have been co-running for the last five years. Meg and Hazel Low, the show’s designer, who I collaborate with a lot of the time, both became associates of the company earlier this year and we are working on some exciting new things. Of course, I had to objective and make sure that everyone else adored Meg as much as I did and felt that they were right for the part. So much of the battle in rehearsals is learning how to work together, so when you meet someone that you work well with, you can trust that you will come out with a great product. Luke also trained with Meg, so they knew each other and then we auditioned him and he just instantly brought a broader level of complexity to the part. We did a spotlight call out and saw a lot of people that we didn’t know but it did just happen that the best people for the part were also the people that were connected to someone in some way. I have tried to curate my own process when it comes to auditioning where I think of the casting almost like a mini rehearsal room, not that I’m trying to create a finished product. One of the core bits of my process, which I learnt from the phenomenal director Nancy Meckler, is this Stanislavsky inspired technique of finding a character’s intention in the scene and then countering that with an obstacle. Nancy helped train me a couple of years ago when I used to find that language of intention, obstacle and motivations so confusing. Everyone has different words for it, and for me it's about saying, ‘want’ so in rehearsals for Tiger, we went through the text and came up with a sentence for each section of each scene, which is a ‘I want to.’ I’ll use an example, so Alice, in the prologue scene, when she's doing, a stand-up bit, she is playing: I want to invite you into my crazy world. That's the thing that's powering those words, but her obstacle is: but my world has been ripped apart. I wanted to come up with a playable sentence like that for every section, then we have this really nice framework. That’s what I test in the room and I’m like if I put someone on that then I know they’ll be able to work with the core of my process.
What initially brought you to this play?
The Tiger. That that's it that's the answer really. The Tiger. I've read and worked on quite a few grief plays but something really shifted in the cultural psyche since the pandemic and I think you can almost split the world into two halves, which is very rare thing. In terms of whether you have experienced the earth-shattering grief that someone like Alice goes through in the play with the loss of her dad, or whether you are yet to. With the play you're either encountering something that you've experienced, or you're encountering something that you will experience in the future. For me, art is a training ground in which to experience extremes of emotion. That we might watch a film or a piece of theatre in order to encounter difficult emotions that otherwise wouldn’t in everyday life, is something that appeals to me. A lot of the plays I do, do that. Theatre through all of its different components creates the difficult experience for us that we will receive, respond and commune with. I think that when we're going through something difficult, that's the tricky thing. Theatre can unlock an emotion that we find tricky which is something that appeals to me. This play is about grief, but it’s silly and it’s playful and it’s funny and it’s magical as well. I think that was the main thing that stuck out to me with this play, that it is a magical realist play. There’s a tiger which doesn’t make any sense, and for me it reminded me of when I first read characters like Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life, or the rabbit Harvey from Harvey, this extraordinary figure that comes into a space and creates a change. And there was so much of the I don’t know who tiger is, I don’t know what tiger is and I can’t define this – and I think that particularly in the age that we live in now, there’s so much pressure on us to define things. Tiger eludes that because they’re just Tiger. Everyone will come up with their own interpretation of who they think Tiger is.
As you say, Meg Lewis is spectacular in the role, and the casting feels spot on. Meg is difficult to categorise, and so the character of Tiger doesn’t feel exactly like a man or a woman or any particular age, ephemeral, just a being. I remember feeling shocked when Oli was able to tangibly see Tiger because I’d expected them to be a figment of Alice’s imagination. But then we never see the characters exist with Tiger outside of the walls of their domestic space, so is the tiger just a product of their shared psyche? Alice and Oli have this wonderful dynamic between them as well, we can see their real selves, which are sweet and nerdy, being weighed down by these painful feelings. The sense of grief is palpable, but the play is also filled with laughs, you get a sense that the characters are deeply silly, sweet and nerdy people, but weighed down by their recent loss. There is a moment where the couple stand on their roof to watch the New Year’s Eve firework display, they haven’t gone to any parties of course, and Oli takes out two singular sparklers from his jacket pocket. They light them excitedly and he makes lightsabre noises like a kid cheering up Alice, but by the time her sparkler has fizzled out you can tell that she’s remembered why she’s sad and her mood has sunk. He offers to light her another one, but she says no. How did you approach the characters?
I’m really glad you picked up on the idea of them shifting away from their sense of selves because that was something that we really hit on in the last week of rehearsals. One of the things we did, alongside looking at intentions, is to investigate, what we call the ‘big want.’ That’s not just asking what the character’s ‘big want’ in the play is, but what is their ‘big want’ for their whole life? With Tiger, it is to have a purpose and on the one hand Tiger explores who they are in the world as though they’ve just been born into it, and on the other hand, their purpose is to be helpful for Alice. Towards the end of the play that becomes very difficult to be able to fulfil because Tiger becomes something that they’re not. Hazel thought this out brilliantly in the design. Tiger begins the play in an oversized suit jacket, which gives Meg this non-human silhouette but later when Tiger puts on Alice’s dad’s jacket, which is much more tight fitting, they become more human, and so start to stray from who they really are. I think that in a way that sums up how we find the characters. It’s what’s in the play and the character work that we do but it’s then further fleshed out by design choices and how the play is staged. All those elements are big factors in allowing people to fully discover their characters. Joe and I have been sat with these characters for a very long time, particularly Joe. When you come into the rehearsal room, an actor might have incredibly good instincts in the first read about who this character is and a lot of the work you do in the rehearsal room, weirdly, is trying to resurrect the same energy as the first ever read. But you know, the first read through is all instinct and what you have to do is come up with a thing that's playable and repeatable.
It's a bit like working with sculpture, with clay, moving beyond that initial instinct and refining the craft. Has your idea of these characters changed from your initial read?
They are a lot sillier than I originally thought. That’s because of the energy that the actors bring to the room. They are all funny and kind and very playful, so there’s a natural way with it, they are all in tune with each other. At first, I always tend to read the drama in something. I’ve never directed a comedy before and I do tend to work with tragedies but tragedies can be very funny. There’s something to be said about trusting the work as well. In the rehearsal room I never directed a moment to get a laugh, it’s all come very naturally out of looking at a scene and thinking what am I literally doing in this scene. When Tiger first appears all Meg is doing is playing their intention and playing their obstacle. We decided to think about how they would move when they are first brought into existence and to see what it would be like if Tiger couldn’t walk in the first scene, so the rule was you’re not allowed to get on your feet. The comedy comes out of Tiger exploring the space and Alice having no idea what is happening but enjoying it. Then as time goes by Tiger is able to walk and one of the fascinating things that we see in the play, which I wasn’t expecting to discover was Tiger’s own journey.
So much of what is hilarious about this play comes from Tiger and their comic misunderstandings. But Tiger isn’t consciously funny, and Meg plays them with a wariness, as though they’re afraid of being badly received whenever they speak. Like you say it’s as though they’ve only just been born to this world but simultaneously have experienced it’s rejection too. It doesn’t feel like Tiger has come from any period of history specifically but has been around for the whole time.
That's exactly it. The phrase we've used throughout the whole process is, Tiger is at once everything and nothing. For me, the way into Tiger, was thinking about the character in terms of queerness. One of the things that I was most fascinated by when I first read the script was that Tiger is Tiger. If Tiger says they’re Tiger, then Tiger’s Tiger. I’ve had, helpfully, a lot of experience with queer theatre. My designer, Hazel, and I met when we were both working as assistants in a brilliant new queer piece of writing called Trainers which showed at the Gate Theatre in 2020 just before the pandemic. That was directed by the most amazing queer artist and director, Hester Stefan Chillingworth, and written by the brilliant playwright Sylvan Oswald from LA, and that was a real first foray into queer theatre making and queer practice. When Hazel and I work now we always tend to find a bit of queerness in something.
One of my very good friends, Andy Thornton, my queer-trans-fairy-godfather, did a post-show talk last week where he essentially did a whole trans reading of Tiger. As a trans person, Andy was talking about how he could really identify with some of the things that Tiger was doing, putting on this performance at times, wanting to be accepted and questioning their identify. So, there’s this queer reading that can be done into Tiger but doesn’t necessarily have to be done. But the most important thing in terms of queerness, was queerness as a theory, as an idea. Queer theory being about fluidity, about being in a state of change, or flux, being in the glitch – and about how that can be an incredibly joyous and euphoric place to be. One of my very early hopes was to have a queer person play Tiger, especially someone who identifies as non-binary or trans, who could bring that sense of fluidity and queer joy to the part as a way in to understanding why that character is so interesting and amazing and playful, but also slightly mournful. For me there was something about Tiger existing in that space of never being able to be defined, always being so many different things, at times an animal, at times a friend, at times a Mr Bean character, or something out of a Laurel and Hardy sketch, that was queer. The hard thing is finding some consistency in that, but if you can get the design, which Hazel has done so brilliantly, then I think you can achieve that, so as an audience member, I think you do relate to Tiger, and believe that they exist. The really difficult thing is when I say to Meg, try playing it like you’ve just been born for example, because Tiger’s got all of these memories from all of the back story work we did, but their memories from the past are a weird amalgamation of different past lives. So like Tiger has been a 40-year-old librarian, Tiger has been a lion tamer in the 1930s, an astronaut, an alien from another planet. So the hard thing you have to do is say okay Meg play it like you’ve just walked into an alien world, but that’s the brilliant thing that Meg brings to it, just like oh okay cool.
The character does seem to have stepped out of various differing lives, coupled with their intention, which is to provide support to Alice and the couple, it as through Tiger is like a Nanny McPhee, or Mary Poppins, character who has dropped in at just the right moment to help. And a bit like the Tiger who came to tea, except rather than eating up all of the food, this Tiger is the one bringing it and spending all of their money, it’s a bit like an illustrated picture book for grownups in that way.
That’s like an amazing reading and I’m like maybe I should have staged it differently like on a page or something. That’s why Tiger is so interesting, it maps perfectly onto what grief is, and how we might experience grief. There is something about the queerness of grief as well, this thing about being in flux, or being in change, being in transition or being in all these places everywhere all at once. That is what grief is, an ever changing ever moving thing that we can’t ever really quite put our finger on. Everyone experiences it so differently. We were lucky to do a lot of work with Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, who we partnered with for the project, and in our first weeks of rehearsal we were able to participate in a grief workshop where we went through different theories of grief. We looked at the seven stages which is Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s theory, the dramatically titled Whirlpool of Grief theory and the Ball of Grief theory, which is quite trendy at the moment, and theorises that grief is a ball which always stays that same size but as you grow up and your life gets bigger, you grow around it but actually the grief will always be there and always be the same size. The fact that there are so many theories really made clear to me that there’s so much we don’t know about grief. Tiger in their impermanence is grief. Whenever I am doing a play, I hope to set myself a project of why am I doing this. One of the sentences that I came up with was I want to queer grief and queer how we grieve. There are so many ways in which society tells us how to grieve, whether that’s because it’s said to be a chronological thing or that there’s a timeline. Actually, grief is more like a weird squiggly circle than a straight line, and literally in that sense, grief is queer. Grief is not straight.
A lot of what grief is goes beyond your own feelings of loss but is also about the impact on your relationships when a year on you are still just flawed by it. I think that people watching Tiger don’t just relate to Alice but also Ollie and Tiger… and if Tiger is grief, then they might represent the wedge that has been driven between them and Alice’s reliance on this thing.
It’s interesting that I’ve been talking a lot about Tiger when a lot of this play is about the other characters. I think that the most work that I’ve been doing throughout rehearsals has probably been on Alice and Ollie’s relationship, and how they relate to Tiger and each other and deal with the fallout from Tiger. I think that Luke and Poppy play that so beautifully. They are able to confront things that they otherwise wouldn’t because of Tiger and one of those thoughts that Alice has simmering, underneath her, throughout the whole play, is that feeling of, you killed my dad. Essentially that’s what she wants to say to Ollie.
It's such a dilemma for her because she’s totally reliant on him for everything he does, and she doesn’t have any other family.
One of my favourite scenes is their breakup. As soon as Alice decides that what she needs to do is eject Ollie from her life she becomes incredibly clinical about it. It’s such a shame but Ollie has become a poison that is rooted in Alice. She says this line ‘you keep saying sorry but you’re not sorry about what happened are you?’ and very pointedly Ollie does not reply to that. It’s after the lack of reply that Alice then says, ‘so I can’t have you around me.’ It’s incredibly logical and probably the most rational point she reaches in the play. At first it almost seems irrational, but as soon as we dig into the fact that for a whole year Alice has not been able to overlook the fact that he has had a hand in the death of her dad and she wasn’t told about it, we can understand why she does that. And that ejection is what it takes for them to maybe come back together again.
They’ve obviously been together since they were very young, they’re still in only young, in their late twenties. This experience marks a shift away from their young selves and knocks them into a different type of understanding of each other.
A lot of people have really kind of related to Ollie. He’s at a loss of what to do and there’s that moment in that scene after dinner where he just says I don't know why this is happening, I really don't know and you kind of see for the first time that weight on him. Throughout the whole play you do see that sense of weight on him, but it becomes very clear towards the end of the play how much this is hurting Ollie. It costs him to have to play that role, the carer, the dutiful partner. In the play you get a glimpse of the experience of grief from different sides with each of the characters. You might come away understanding them all or picking a side, but it has been really interesting to see the which characters, different audience members have been corresponding with.
And who they have and haven’t been through their own experiences. You were talking about how the design decisions, and the pink fur, add to this idea of the surreality of grief. Why did you choose the pink fur?
That’s the first thing really, the sense of the surreal and the uncanny. Hazel and I both like to do things in a non-literal way. When a play calls for naturalistic elements, like a door or a TV, we both know that that’s not what we’re going to do. When I first saw the Omnibus, which is quite a massive, cavernous space for a fringe theatre, it was in the end formation with these comfy, very blue seats. It was giving cinema: big fourth wall, detachment from the performance. The first thing I thought was we’ve got to do it in traverse with the audience on either side. There were two reasons for that. One, because it’s immediately much more involving, the play is about these human relationships. I want the audience to feel really involved in that. And B, the thing that I really visualised was this sense of a stretch between the characters. There’s so much tension and emotional distance between them. Alice and Ollie have been together for seven years and should know the other like the back of their hand, but in this play they are not getting each other. One of the early images that I had with this play, was Alice and Ollie stuck at either end of a really long stage. It was great to be able to achieve that moment in the breakup scene where they’re both at either end of the stage and there is just this massive gulf between the two of them. So, the next question for Hazel was, if this is in traverse, what can we do design wise because on this traverse it’s not like you can have much on stage because otherwise it becomes a real problem for sight lines. We thought about the visual gesture that we could make to help curate a space that aligns with what the play is trying to tell us. I wanted Tiger to be a product of, rather than an intrusion into the space. That helps to explain why and how Tiger suddenly comes into being. So the space had to feel like something that this character had been born from. One of my early instincts was was a living room in block colour, or a bit wonky. Hazel is very good at being like Myles we can’t do that, it’s too ambitious, we don’t have the money. And then saying like this platform is all about the floor and what we do with that. One day we were just talking in Hazel’s studio, and they were just like what if the whole thing is just covered in fur and I was like absolutely. The set and Tiger go completely hand in hand and so as an audience member you totally believe that Tiger is there. You may find it weird in a magical sense but not in a sense that you don’t know what this play is doing. The next question became what colour is the fur? And we both just immediately went Pink! Because there’s something about how that corresponds with Alice.
That type of material, that cheapy, pink fluff, is so recognisable as like women’s slippers in Primark and dressing gowns and so much of what is cozy and comfortable and that way you might bundle yourself up in a student house, you know walking around a student kitchen, covered in all these layers so speaks to this way that you might comfort and conceal yourself.
Yes, and the decision that Hazel made with the costumes totally ties it all together. Alice is wearing pink pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers, it all ties in. One of the things that me and Poppy have talked about a lot with the text is that Alice wants to stay in Alice land, like she does not want to leave Alice land and as the play goes on, pink fluffy Alice land gets invaded by the real cardboard boxes of her dad’s things that she’s clearing out, the real tangible symbol of the real world. In that way, we have hopefully created a simple visual journey in that the play begins with the pink and ends with the cardboard boxes everywhere. But by the end that language is embraced and Alice and Ollie come together to create this kind of archive of the dad.
Tell me about the choice of the Kate Bush song. It is such a dad song.
Kate Bush - Burning Bridge! All I can say about that is that it was in the script. So that was Joe’s choice, but I know he spent quite a long time deliberating on what song to put there. There was a lot more music mentioned in the script, there’s a lot of David Bowie songs, particularly in the earlier drafts, each scene had music that we hear at the beginning or ending of the scene. Yet, for me, there was something about reducing and distilling it to just that one song, that suggests this sense of absence, until the moment when Alice and Tiger finally dance to this song. Jamie Lu has done some amazing work of recording soundscapes for the transitions. This song is actually used in every transition but distorted so the audience hears it at each transition, and it becomes the language of sound in the piece.
Tell me about the other events that have been happening at the Omnibus alongside the play.
That’s part of something we curated ourselves. We’ve been really fortunate to get Arts Council Funding for the play, and whenever we do, I try to have a branch of the project that will foster a cross cultural collaboration between the theatre and the community. It’s a play that if you have had experience of bereavement then I think it’s a really hopeful and healthy play to come and watch, and we were able to have 28 people from the hospice come and see that play. We had a death café the weekend before last, which is something that is facilitated by a death doula, and was an opportunity for people to talk openly about grief, which is something that is very taboo in this country, because everyone is very scared – and rightly so in a way – but the more we can talk about it, the more we can normalise it, demystify it. We’ve also had an emerging artists night where tickets are £5 with a Q&A afterwards and some chats in the bar. We recognise that we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity and so my aim is to always open the doors as much as we can and to get some transparency around how we did this. I know for myself that when I was able to get those young tickets, it was so extremely helpful to your craft and being able to see things, and also to have those supportive young audiences in to see what they think. Last Saturday we had a post-show talk between the writer Joe and Megan Stephens who is a PhD student writing about death and dying, which is about what we don’t talk about when we talk about dying, and how the media and literature reinforce that but what we can do to open the conversation more. These talks help to shed so much light on the play and our societal understanding of grief.
What else are you working on?
I’ve got two strands to my practice, one is theatre, and one is exploring live art. I’m working on a live art, visual performance piece about heart break called MEND with my theatre company, Helikon. If you go on our website, you’ll see a series of images of an installation with plastic sheets that we made across a week’s residency at ARC Stockton in March. We were then lucky to rehearse a bit of it at a scratch night at Theatre Royal Stratford East. The thinking is that heart break is such a prominent thing in our lives, and that it’s so aligned with how we consume art. A lot of art is consumed when someone experiences heart break, most of the time that might be a breakup album and part of the question we had was what is a theatre version of that? Can we make our own version of a breakup album on stage and visually? We’re on the move to get funding and develop it. I’m really excited about that as it’s one of the first pieces where I‘m properly experiencing methods of cocreation. Hazel who is usually a designer, Meg who is usually an actor and me, who directs, are all cocreators with this piece, working non-hierarchically and exploring what that process is like.
Myles O’Gorman is an OFFIE nominated theatre director and co-artistic director of Helikon Theatre Company. In 2022, he was longlisted for the JMK Award. Tiger continues his collaboration with designer Hazel Low. Recent work includes: The Blue House (Blue Elephant Theatre, Three OFFIE nominations); MEND, R&D (ARC Stockton, Theatre Royal Stratford East); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (De Vere Latimer Estate); Black Men Smile Too (Southwark Playhouse); Pro-Choice and Little Acts of Defiance (Theatre503). As an assistant director he has worked at the Gate Theatre, Finborough Theatre and with the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. He trained with Nancy Meckler as part of RTYDS New Directions Cohort, with Katie Mitchell and Sacha Wares through the Young Vic, and with Lyndsey Turner through Living Pictures.
Agnès Houghton-Boyle is a critic and programmer based in London. Her writing features in Talking Shorts Magazine and Fetch London.