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Laura Horton- interview

Hitting the Edinburgh Fringe this August (3rd-29th August, excluding 10th and 17th), Laura Horton's new show, Breathless, discusses hoarding in an honest yet engaging account of her personal experiences on the subject. In her enlightening play, she opens up about identifying her problem, and the thoughts that came next.

Wanting to know more, I got in touch, and here's what Laura had to say...


Please can you tell us a little about what to expect from your show at the Edinburgh Fringe?

Breathless is a monologue about Sophie- a woman who has moved back to Devon from London to

re-group. In her late-thirties, she feels like she's hurtling towards middle-age with nothing to show

for her life but a lot of clothes and a broken heart. This is a story about how she comes to terms with the growing recognition that she is a hoarder and her struggle to navigate, not just dating as someone with an uncomfortable amount of things, but exploring her bisexuality for the first time.

What made you choose to discuss this topic, as it is rarely spoken about, and is often regarded as taboo?

I'm a hoarder, but it took me a long time to recognise that as the media and arts narratives are so

extreme. I wanted to try to destigmatise it by presenting a more nuanced story, to show the sliding


How has working on this piece, being so reflective of your own experiences, helped you come to terms with them?

Working through the script with my wonderful creative team, actor Madelene MacMahon and

director Stephanie Kempson, has really opened up discussions - not only about hoarding but bisexual identity. It's been a joyful process so far; being able to be so open has made me feel braver, and that I shouldn't be ashamed about my hoarding or any part of who I am. 

What kind of impact do you hope your show has on its audiences, and do you think it’ll change their view on the topic?

I really hope it will help people to recognise their own relationships with their things. For those who

don't hoard, I hope it will enable education and empathy. 

How important do you think it is to give a platform to more pieces led by neurodivergent people?

I think it's so important to platform as a wide a range of pieces as possible. I'm 38 and it's only been

in the last two years that I've realised I'm neurodivergent. I didn't recognise it myself because the

portrayals of neurodivergent people were not ones I fully recognised in myself. That's why there should be room for many different stories, not just platforming a few. 

And lastly, where do you hope to take this show in the future?

I'd love to tour it around the UK and internationally. I'm also developing a podcast about hoarding to continue to widen the discussion.


Huge thanks to Laura for sharing this on such an important topic, and although I can't be at the Fringe this year, I definitely hope to catch the show elsewhere in the future. For those of you who can, you can get your tickets here:

I'll make sure to keep an eye out for that upcoming podcast too! Wishing you all the best for the run.

Additional thanks to Amee Smith for coordinating this interview.

{Some grammar is amended for clarity}


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