The actress spoke to Love London Love Culture about her upcoming performance in Catherine & Anita, written and directed by Derek Ahonen and playing at the King’s Head Theatre from the 7th February.
Hi Sarah, could you tell me a bit more about the show and its themes?
Catherine and Anita is a dark comedy about a woman overcoming the obstacles in her life with the help of her best friend. It’s a story about love, friendship and also the destruction that can be caused by unchecked childhood trauma and mental illness.
What did you think of Catherine and Anita when you first read it?
I remember the first time I read Catherine and Anita I was on the tube – I got some very strange looks as I was laughing one minute and sobbing the next! I’ve worked with Derek before and I’m a big fan of his writing but this play just blew me away. We wanted to steer clear of breaking the fourth wall and multiple characters so it’s pretty unique in terms of a one person show.
Why do you think that there is still such a stigma attached to the whole topic of mental illness?
I think the stigma exists because you can’t really understand what it is like to live with a mental illness if you haven’t experienced it.
How do you think that the show will help to open discussion about mental health further?
I think Catherine and Anita really highlights how lonely living with a mental illness can be.
What would you say that the main message of Catherine and Anita is?
Catherine and Anita deals with both mental illness and abuse which are hugely topical issues at the moment. I really hope that it makes people aware of the importance of support and having people to talk to when it comes to either of these issues, whether that be friends and family or a professional.
Could you tell me a bit more about your character Catherine?
She is a beautiful person who unfortunately suffers from that lack of support throughout her whole life.
How would you describe the show for potential audiences?
It’s a rollercoaster.
Catherine and Anita will play at the King’s Head Theatre from the 7th to the 24th February. For more information visit: http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/