Interview with… Charlotte Cooper

The actress is about to star in the Rose Theatre Kingston’s production of The Night Pirates. She talks to Love London Love Culture about the production… 

ECB_Night_Pirates_PB_cvr_low_res.jpgHi Charlotte, for those who haven’t read the book (like me!) could you tell me a little bit more about The Night Pirates?

The Night Pirates is about a little boy called Tom who wakes up to find pirates stealing the front of his house, but not just any pirates, little girl pirates, adventure ensues…

Have you read the book yourself? What did you think of it?

I have read the book, its great! The pictures are lovely and it is such a nice story. I also personally love the girl pirates, especially the captain!

What appealed to you most about getting involved with the production?

The team behind it are brilliant, Miranda and Barrie work beautifully together and The Rose produce such excellent stuff. Miranda knows exactly what she is doing to make the show appeal to a family audience, retaining its heart without it becoming twee, and you really feel like you’re in safe hands. I was so excited to get the job and am having an amazing – if exhausting – time working on it!

How important do you think children’s theatre is becoming in opening new minds to the excitement of the theatre?

Children’s theatre and storytelling are increasingly important. With cuts to arts funding, and drama no longer being a compulsory part of the curriculum, it is important that children are given opportunities to see stories come alive on stage. Starting them young through books and well-loved stories being turned into shows, gives them the grounding they need for a lifelong love of books, reading and theatre which helps to develop imagination and means they will always be able to go on an adventure.

You’ve done quite a bit of children’s theatre previously – what appeals to you most about performing for younger audiences?

With shows for younger audiences, you know immediately by their reaction if something has or hasn’t worked. They become restless if not fully entertained and need to be given plenty of opportunities to interact. It is a high energy medium and you have to be thinking constantly.

Younger audiences notice everything, it’s impossible to trick them or divert them, if something funny happens on stage they will have noticed and you can’t gloss over the moment in the way you could with an adult audience. (I was once in a show where another character and I collided and he fell over. It was incredibly funny as he fell to the floor and into a spotlight centre stage, the whole audience saw it so I had to acknowledge it had happened which gave them permission to laugh and helped to explain my obvious guffaws!)

Can you give any little secrets about what audiences can expect from the production?

I don’t want to give away too much as there are a few surprises in store but watch out for those grumpy grown-up pirates!

After The Night Pirates – what’s next in store for you?

I’m currently working on my own YouTube channel – Charlotte’s Bedtime Stories, its lots of fun but requires plenty of work which I will turn my full attention to in November.

The Night Pirates will play at the Rose Theatre in Kingston from the 6th to the 16th September. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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