by Rachel Tookey

Featured image for “mudder”





A woman gives birth to her own mother.




Rachel is a writer for stage and screen, based in the UK. Her latest play SLIME recently received a rehearsed reading at the West End’s Criterion Theatre. It was a finalist for the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrights Fellowship at Juilliard, shortlisted for the Original Theatre playwriting prize and received a Peggy Ramsay Grant. Her short film The Girl with the Haunted Vagina was commissioned by the British Film Institute in 2022, and her first television pilot has just been sent out to production companies. She studied English at Cambridge University, where she became the first person to win both playwriting prizes. She is represented by The Artists Partnership in the UK. She is delighted to bring her writing to the USA for the first time.




When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

As a child, I was often mystified by other people. I struggled to make eye contact, I struggled to be around them. It seemed like every attempt I made to connect would lead constantly – irresistibly – unintentionally to offence. I wanted so desperately to climb into their heads and understand just what I was doing wrong.


How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with my mother; yet at the same time, I see so much of her in myself. While I want children, my greatest fear is I will end up reiterating the same relationship with any future daughter. Mudder is an absurdist comedy about a woman who gives birth to a baby but can only see her own mother, and so is forced to confront that very fear.


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Never starts writing before 11.


What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

I love playwrights who embrace the weird and weave it into more traditional story structures. The writers I come back to again and again are Edward Albee, Bruce Norris, Clare Baron and Caryl Churchill.


What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

From the age of naught to six, I lived in New Orleans and had a Southern drawl. Growing up from six onwards in the UK, it has become undetectable underneath my South London accent.


What are some of your favorite plays?

The following plays would keep me company on a desert island:

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Edward Albee), Downstate (Bruce Norris), Dance Nation (Clare Barron) and Escaped Alone (Caryl Churchill)

(They would also provide good kindling for a fire, but only after the fifth reread)


Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

My current projects are all under wraps but hoping to announce soon!

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