The Stella Willkie Award was set in 2013 as a means for the King’s Head Theatre to support work from young makers and cement our link with East 15 Acting School where the Acting and Contemporary Theatre course is celebrated not only as a pioneering training program for performers, but also as a creative hub producing innovative original work that received some tremendous accolades.
We’re delighted to introduce the 2022 winner of the award, The Benefits of Disabled Sex, written and perfomed by Sonny Howes, who joins an outstanding line up of past companies including Paper Mug Theatre, Fat Rascal Theatre, and The Police Cops.
The Benefits of Disabled Sex was created and first shown as part of East 15’s Launch festival in June, although the script had been in the works for over a year. We caught up with Sonny to chat about the production...
“I think sex and disability is seen as a taboo subject to talk about within our culture. Many people are afraid of what they don’t know or understand and as sex education in our country is very basic (never really teaching anything other than a cis, able bodied, straight relationship) it means that many people are scared of getting things wrong. It’s understandable - but dated.”
Writer and performer of The Benefits of Disabled Sex, Sonny Howes says, “I’ve learnt a lot throughout the process of making this show. It’s a personal piece for me, based on my experiences as a teenager and how they’ve not only shaped me as a person but also as a creative”. Combining Theatre and Stand up, Sonny’s love for “dark humour” certainly comes from this time in his life which to him is “obvious throughout the show”.
Sonny is “ridiculously” excited to bring the shows to The King’s Head Theatre (thanks Sonny, we’re ridiculously excited too!). It’s the shows first transfer since Sonny graduated and the first production under the theatre company “Under The Rug” created by himself and the brilliant Frankie Golding. Having Uri Roodner on board as director is also very exciting for Sonny. He goes on to explain that Uri “has great faith in the script and allowed for lots of exploration and play within the rehearsal room which has really cemented the feel for the show. It’s also an honour to be bringing the show to The Kings Head through winning The Stella Willkie Award.”