Joel Horwood's play This Changes Everything is a play about an attempt to create an idealistic, all-female community. It was commissioned by Tonic Theatre in partnership with Nick Hern Books as part of Platform, an initiative comprising a series of big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by school, college and youth-theatre groups, with the aim of addressing gender imbalance and inequality in theatre.
This Changes Everything was published on 11 June 2015, along with two other plays inaugurating the Platform series: The Light Burns Blue by Silva Semerciyan and Second Person Narrative by Jemma Kennedy.
The play's action mostly takes place on a platform out at sea, where a group of disillusioned young women have formed 'The Community': a new type of society attempting to lead a better way of life. Three girls, Alva, Kim and Klara, arrive at The Community having followed two of its members, Maja and Sam, back there. They are determined to convince the others to let them stay. It transpires that Maja and Sam made their shore-run (they occasionally visit the mainland to replenish their store of crisps) with a third girl Hanne, who has not returned. Maja steadily assumes leadership of The Community with Kim as her minder. Sam leaves and suspicions about what happened to Hanne begin to fester. Rows break out about the relative value of the different types of work that needs to be done. The Code by which they are all supposed to live is repeatedly edited by Maja. One of girls is put on trial for making a joke about The Leader. And then Hanne turns up.
In an introduction to the published text, Horwood poses a series of questions: 'What kind of a world would you like to live in? How could you start afresh? Is it ever possible to start afresh? What obstacles might you face? If it all collapses and fails is that the end? Or is failure part of a journey towards success? ... How could we change the world? Should we? Where do we start?'