The Scotsman 1 August 2023

In the space of a year, Isla Cowan has gone from urban to rural. Twelve months ago, the playwright was on stage in She Wolf, her own one-woman show on the Edinburgh Fringe. It was a howl of rage about a young city-based professional driven to animal extremes by a system weighed against her. In the face of corporate ruthlessness, the woman rejected the civilised world and answered the call of the wild.

This year, Cowan is changing the pace with To The Bone, the latest play to join the summer season at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Responding to the theatre’s open-ended commission, the Edinburgh writer set her thoughts on the countryside.

“I’ll be able to ping-pong back and forth, because I’m based in Edinburgh, but I’ll be taking in the peace and quiet of Pitlochry,” says Cowan, pleased for an excuse to escape the festival crowds. “It’s reflected in the plays themselves. She Wolf was a bubbling rage of a play and To The Bone is a quieter, more subtle play, with strong emotions underneath. It’s reflected in that change of environment.” [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).