Lou Stoke


Episode 8.1 – 8.9


Deputy Governing Governor; Wing Governor


Brought up in a working-class family with her sister, Vicky – a drug addict who blames her for an abortion that left her unable to have children. Ever since, Vicky’s tried to make Lou pay.

Lou arrives at Larkhall and immediately makes an impression – the inmates like her because she’s firm, fair and straight-down-the-line, while officers remain divided – Joy finds her unprofessional, while others like Donny find her to be refreshing to work with because she’s against the usual formalities of authority. Lou’s greatest asset as an officer is that she can empathise with the inmates – she understands how many of them came to be where they are.

Strong-willed and no pushover, the Officer Grade tier system doesn’t stop her from speaking her mind, nor does she believe it should stop others from having their views. Smart and pragmatic, Lou knows instinctively how to win the inmates’ respect. Lou can’t stand bigotry, but she knows how to combat it – usually with scathing wit. She’ll have no qualms with bending the rules if she believes it’ll benefit things in the long run.

Progressive in her ideals, and able to take and make a joke, even at her own expense make her likeable – although Joy finds it difficult to deal with. After falling for Rowan Dunlop – who she believed to be high-up on her list of ideal men – her personal and professional life was left in tatters when his true intentions were revealed – he was using her to make a documentary about women in prison (and not for their benefit, but for his own fame-hungry needs). Rowan was even prepared to watch her troubled sister, Vicky, die in front of him in order to do it.

Lou went off to take a break – but Joy made it clear the break would be permanent.

Amanda Donohoe

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