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Essence is my latest play and it had a very initial outing at the Vault Festival in Feb 2020.

Peckham 2020. Laquaya (15 - loves hip-hop, feminism, Peperami) has broken into Elyot’s house. Elyot (32) is reclusive, eccentric and probably quite lonely. He’s making a model boat and listening to Beethoven whilst checking off his life week by week on a chart on the wall.

Watch this slightly odd couple go on a humorous and heart-warming journey from denial to acceptance, overcoming extreme difference and fear of vulnerability to realise that deep down, the essence of each of them make for a perfect match.

Essence explores what it’s like to be lonely, how much it takes to let people in, and how the messy bits of life are ultimately where the gold lies.

Essence is supported by The CULTIVATE Bursary, in Association with COMMON and the Newbury Corn Exchange.

The Play's the Thing

"Essence is about what’s deep inside us and what we as humans need, beyond any fears and awkwardness we’ve picked up along the way. Henley has brought this to the stage with these two complex, but easy-to-watch, characters. It’s a play about barriers and breaking them down. It shows that once we get over ourselves and relax, we are able to get down to the essence of our being and truly connect with each other."


The 730 Review

"Sarah Henley’s clever and poignant script, rich in metaphors and symbolism, provided me with a wealth of ideas on which to ponder...There were so many times throughout this piece that a character delivered a thought or a belief that really sparked in me a desire for further reflection. Henley shows herself to be an intelligent and weighty voice that made my heart leap in awe at her poetic skill."

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