It’s hard to tell, when Debra Oswald moseys onto the SBW Stables stage and starts speaking, if she is launching her play or just giving the audience a casual welcome to settle in. The house lights are still up, and there’s not the slightest waft of a dramatic air making taut the lines of attention between audience and performer. But no: this is the play, and we have indeed begun.

Such is the lightly entertaining, near unwavering tone of Is There Something Wrong With That Lady?: a casual, one-sided chat from an amiable, accomplished and self-reflective woman on the unpredictable ups and downs of a full-time female writer. Only very slowly, and very gradually, do the lights dial down. It’s almost as if she’s a little embarrassed that the audience is made separate.

Debra Oswald in Is There Something Wrong With That Lady?Photograph © Brett Boardman

Now in her early sixties, Oswald is a versatile talent of great repute in the creative industry. She’s written plays that have won awards and toured the world, like Gary’s House, The Peach Seasonand Mr...