Louise Orwin is an award-winning performance artist making research-driven theatre projects about what it means to identify as female today, in a fast-moving, media-saturated world that prizes patriarchal, heteronormative narratives. Her work is provocative, brash and intimate, and delves into subjects that are close to home, hard to get your head around, and need to be spoken about.


7.30am: Alarm that I set last night so that I could wake up and do yoga and meditate and feel smug before the day begins goes off. I snooze it.

8.30am: An hour after my alarm goes off I panic and drag my sleep-drugged body out of bed. Shower, make food and prep lunch, and then begin my journey into Theatre Deli where I’m currently rehearsing my show ‘Oh Yes Oh No’.

9.30am: Get on rush hour tube and feel my whole body go into toxic shock. Feel thankful that I don’t have to work the office hours that many people have to

10am: Get into Deli grab a coffee, and try to shake the feeling of all those rush hour bodies from me. Think I am probably a misanthrope. Decide I’m not, but you know, ‘hell is other people’

10.30am: If I’ve booked space because I’m working on a show, then this is the absolute latest time I want to be getting down to it. I’m now at the point where I understand that a huge part of the creative process for me is creating the right conditions for the muse to come. For me this usually means: creating space separate from my daily life, putting boundaries between admin time and making time, and then making sure I have enough time so I don’t rush the work and can dick about on Youtube singing karaoke videos if I want (surprisingly helpful!). However, this morning I’m meeting my brilliant producer Michael because we have a disgustingly long to-do list to get through.

10.45am: Michael and I stop gossiping and actually get down to that list. This year we’re touring ‘Oh Yes Oh No’, as well as making a new show ‘CRY CRY KILL KILL’, so there’s loads to do: booking our production team, contacting touring partners, making decisions about press releases and print designs and on and on and on. Loads to be excited about basically.

1.30pm: We stop for lunch. I’m usually quite careful about trying to use my lunchtime to get some fresh air, take a stroll, give my brain a bit of rinse basically, but today we work through lunch- make calls, send emails and plot like two bad witches.

2.30pm: Michael heads off, and I finally manage to put my phone on airplane mode (essential creative time rule) and put on some loud music and dance about like a lunatic for a bit. This is a bit of a ritual for me at the start of any devising/rehearsing period: I need to feel like the space is mine, so I usually walk about it for a bit, dance my head off, or sing karaoke (probably the reason so much karaoke has made it into my work so far… just kidding, my work is way more considered than that ;) )

2.45pm: Today I’m working on some of the writing in ‘Oh Yes Oh No’. I often write stream of consciousness- a sort of emptying of my brain out onto a page. I find so much of my creative process is about tricking myself into letting the good stuff sneak out when I’m not noticing. Today I don’t feel like writing at my laptop (too much of that during the morning), so instead I put my headphones in and walk about the space talking into my phone. I listen back, think my voice sounds weird, but then get that full-body tingle that I might be onto something. I try to stay with that feeling as long as possible before it goes away.

4.30pm: Have a break and find time for a quick chat with Katherine who works with Deli about some of the work I’ve been doing with Deli as a Guest Curator this year. Then do some more emails. They are literally relentless today, and I daydream about being by the seaside without a phone and laptop. I text my Dad and a couple of friends to remind myself I AM NOT MY WORK.

5pm: Spend the last hour of my day rehearsing a couple of the dances in the show. Think the people next door must assume there’s a whole dance troupe in my room by the amount I’m banging about in here. Wonder what they think when they see just me coming out.

5.45pm: Finish my last dance and feel like I’ve nailed it so let out a huge loner laugh of relief. Working on your own can be weird and lonely, and I often think it would be nice to have other people in the space to share in the laughs. Does that sound really sad? I do properly love working on my own, but yeah, it can be a relief towards the end of the making process when I finally invite others into the space.

6pm: Hunker down for the rush hour commute. Except today I feel so energised and excited by the work, that I swagger out of Deli into the tidal wave of city workers with actual BDE*- or, correction- BCE** obvs.

6.30pm: Get home, chat to my housemate or call my Mum for a bit. Feel super drained suddenly so eat some food and fall asleep in front of some Netflix shit.

9pm: Wake up and realise that I still have a few emails or trawling through eBay for costume/props. Making shows always seems to be about 30% making and 70% scouring eBay for stuff.

10pm: Yoga. It’s late night, but this is honestly the one thing I can’t live without so I find time for it pretty much everyday. My favourite thing is to close my bedroom door, turn all the lights off and light a candle so its super moody, and then blast out some music for 30 mins so I get really in the zone. Recently its been Lauryn Hill or Bjork or the Kills.

11-1am: Somewhere around now is where I finally get into my bed. I think about what I have to do tomorrow and feel grateful that I can be a full time artist, pick up the book I’m reading and then usually get 3 pages in before I’m fast asleep.

*Big D*ck Energy

**Big C**t Energy


Want to see more of Louise? Check out 'Oh Yes Oh No' at Theatre Deli Sheffield on 24th/25th April