WRITER | PRODUCER | LECTURER
Sharon was born in Dublin. She graduated from the University of Middlesex in 1997 with a BA in Creative Writing. Sharon’s first play a black comedy, ‘Charlie’s Wake’ was performed at the Finborough Theatre, Earls Court in 2001.
After a break to concentrate on motherhood, Sharon wrote Gutted. Gutted was accepted as part of Marlowe Roar programme in 2017, as part of their new writing initiative Gutted was much appraised by the team at the Marlowe and she became a supported artist of the theatre and continues to be. ‘Gutted’ a black comedy, about three young women who work in a fish factory in Dublin in the 1980’s, premiered at the Marlowe Theatre in February 2017 receiving wonderful reviews. It was supported by the Arts Council, Canterbury City council as well as the Marlowe theatre creative fund.
Gutted then went on to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in 2018. Directed by Chris White, (RSC, and Scenes From 68 Years by Hannah Khalil’s, Booby’s Bay by Henry Darke Bottled by Hayley Wareham)
The following year the play, again supported by ACE toured in the UK and London in October 2019. Gutted received an offcomm and five star reviews.
Gutted, also a screenplay, co-written with writer Melissa Garner Lee was shortlisted in the Moondance Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Sharon has lectured at the University of Kent for six years in Writing for Stage & Screen on their Combined Studies Programme and now currently lectures at Christ Church University in Screenwriting. She is working on her next play Battered.
Sharon Lives in Whitstable. Kent.
A Q&A with Sharon (about 'Gutted') at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 by 'Tea With Wilma | westendwilma.com
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I'm a playwright from Dublin living in the UK. My first play ‘Charlies Wake’ was at the Finborough theatre in 2001. I’ve been writing plays and screenplays since then. Gutted is my first play to produce at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Gutted, a black comedy is about three young Dublin women working in a fish factory in 1980s Dublin – Through dynamic monologue and dark humour the women tell us about the events of one night in their lives. They vividly and dynamically portray the characters who have an impact and change the direction of their lives - Gutted tackles issues of abortion and domestic violence.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Gutted was produced along with the Marlowe theatre studio in Canterbury in 2017 - only last year. It’s a new play and given the recent Repeal referendum it’s relevant. Women in Ireland have had no choice for decades to come to England for an Abortion. I feel Gutted highlights the impact on women in the 80’s and the issues are still extremely relevant today in Ireland and globally.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
For performers – stay cool, don’t burn out too quickly. Conserve your energy and see some other shows with your pass. Time out from the intensity is crucial and inspiring.
For Visitors – See our show ‘Gutted’– you won’t regret it and have fun…
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I’m not an actor. I’m definitely more comfortable behind the scenes. I don’t like being on show, and I don’t even like pics of myself. I once performed in a pub singing ‘Waterloo’ with two other girlfriends in a one-off band. I was terrified but it wasn’t so bad. I hid behind the amplifier.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Martin Mc Donagh, Conor Mc Pherson, Sarah Kane, Rebecca Lenkiewicz
I met Sarah Kane at the Paines Plough theatre company in 1998. She was an amazing writer and inspired me to continue with my writing. While I was there doing a placement she was the writer-in-residence. I interviewed her for my dissertation and she was a huge inspiration - as a woman playwright highlighting themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain and torture. I wanted my writing to have more depth. Playwriting is an art where one can express our inner demons if you like. In Gutted all the women are dealing with their inner and outer demons – repressed sexual desire, domestic violence and abortion.
I also love Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy- ‘The Lieutenant of Inismore’ a favourite. I think Gutted fuses elements of black humour and important issues about women that still need addressing.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I am taking my 8-year-old son with me to Edinburgh so we will be hitting the family shows. Looking forward to that.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s Irish, It’s funny and it’s relevant to women’s issues today.