In 2017, I was lying face-down on my kitchen floor. I was supposed to be writing a play for a university assignment. It wasn’t going well.
Then Nia stumbled on to the page in her stilettos, swearing and rhyming in couplets.
The play I’d been trying to write was an adaptation of Iphigenia in Aulis: an ancient Greek tragedy about a girl who sacrifices herself to the Goddess Artemis, so that the Greek army can sail to Troy and…you know the rest.
Iphigenia is a true heroine: pure and brave and selfless. I just couldn’t connect to her. So, I think that’s why Nia stepped in.
Three months later, the play passed with Distinction (yay!) and so much positive feedback from those who read the script, that I was encouraged to let Nia out to meet actual people.
We’ve been overwhelmed at the audience’s response from the development performances, and from The Attic. So, now Nia’s going on tour. She’s difficult to love, but we hope you do.
Rowena Cooper is an award-winning poet and playwright. Alongside her day job, she’s the poet-in-residence at Open House – a charity focused on tackling issues around housing and homelessness – where she runs weekly poetry drop-in sessions.
Rowena graduated from the University of London with a Masters in Classics, and then pursued a career in business. She was leading a team of ten sales people, responsible for a target of over £3 million when, naturally, in 2016, she decided to become a writer.
Since then, Rowena’s poetry and flash fiction has been published in Shooter Lit magazine, Claudius Speaks and Panoplyzine. In 2017 she was Commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize for the poem, Ultraviolet and her monologue And this is the funny thing was selected from over 3000 submissions for performance as part of Founding Fall Theatre’s FreeFall event in London.
She’s just been awarded a Distinction in an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford University, alongside writing a new play about masculinity, motherhood and chinese takeaways.
This is her, smelling the roses. Follow her on instagram: @aneworowena