isla cowan

Isla is a Scottish playwright, performer and director, currently based in Edinburgh. She specialises in creating ecofeminist work and believes in theatre that challenges both its audience and its makers.

Isla's most recent work for stage includes, Daphne, or Hellfire (Pleasance and Assembly Roxy, 2019), Sno Wite and the Seven Dickensians ( Strange Town / Scottish Storytelling Centre, 2019 ), The View from Portobello ( Royal Lyceum, 2018 ), BANTER (LYT/Traverse, 2017 ), These Walls (Sweet Venues, 2017 ), Come Back to Bed ( Fitzpatrick Theatre, 2017 ), Lily ( Corpus Playroom, 2016), and poetic solo show, Learning to Live (Espionage @Laughing Horse, 2015). Isla was winner of the Cambridge New Writing Festival in 2017 for her play, Waiting, and has since participated in several writing festivals, including REP STRIPPED (Dundee Rep, 2019). Isla was recently Assistant Director on GUT (Traverse/NTS, 2018) and The Duchess [of Malfi] (Lyceum/Citizens, 2019), and was selected as one of four writers to be mentored at Hampstead Theatre as part of the 2019 Inspire Programme.

Isla is currently working on a brand new solo show, She-Wolf, which explores speciesism, womanhood and folklore, in an exciting combination of monologue, storytelling and physical theatre.


'Cowan has taken millennia-old source material and constructed a play that is fresh and resonant'

Theatre Weekly

'A powerhouse on stage, Cowan’s conviction in her performance is as strong as her writing... a masterful piece of poetic writing...'

The Reviews Hub

'Isla Cowan... is an impassioned and illumined playwright',

The Cambridge Student

'writing at its most raw and most captivating',


'The craft of every word in Cowan’s poetry is excellent, the delivery spot on'


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