Sirine Saba on Some Demon in London and Bristol

Laura Waldren’s debut play Some Demon won the Papatango New Writing Prize in 2023 and now arrives at Arcola Theatre for its premiere ahead of a run at Bristol Old Vic. The play follows eighteen-year-old Sam and forty-something Zoe who, despite having little in common, are thrown together in an eating disorder unit where they form an unlikely but complicated bond.

Sirine Saba, whose credits include roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre, amongst others, plays Zoe. With the play set to open for its first preview tonight, we caught up with Saba to find out more about the production and her role.

Q&A with Sirine Saba

What can you tell us about Some Demon?

It’s a beautiful, true, funny, authentic play about a group of women living day by day in an eating disorder unit. Friendships, joy, heartbreak, betrayal and a true reflection of what living with a mental illness can be like.

What was it that attracted you to the production?

Zoe is one of the best characters I have ever been presented with and certainly she exists in one of the best stories I have ever read. I could not turn my back on her or the world she inhabits.

How have you approached playing Zoe?

Zoe plays herself. Laura Waldren has written a script that just leaps off the page. All I have to do is say the words Laura has written and Zoe just springs into life.

How does it feel to be playing in both London and Bristol?

Well I live in London and so that works perfectly for me! As for Bristol, it’s my favourite city in the UK and I had the absolute joy of performing at the Bristol Old Vic in 2005. Can’t wait to go back.

Is there anything you hope audiences take away from the show?

I hope the audience leaves with a more complete understanding of what living with an eating disorder can be like but also with hope for the resilience and brilliance of the human spirit.

Some Demon is at Arcola Theatre from 14 June to 6 July and Bristol Old Vic from 9 to 13 July