The actress spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon about the world stage premiere of Mike Bartlett’s Not Talking. The production will play at the Arcola Theatre from the 25th April.
Hi Gemma, thanks for talking to Love London Love Culture. What can audiences expect from Not Talking? Its a very surprising play, and not like anything I’ve seen before. The characters are often recounting the same event or talking about each another, but never quite manage to actually communicate directly with one another, so it’s a fascinating look at how perspective and memory alters one’s experience.
Could you tell me a bit more about your character and their part in the story? I play Amanda who is a young soldier in the army. Quite early on, something very horrific happens to her, and we see her struggle against cultures of silence within the army to try and deal with this.
What would you say the main message of the play is? I would say the play examines the human need to talk and communicate with one another, and how easily things can fall apart if you don’t.
How are preparations for the production going so far? We’re about to go into our production week and I think we’re in a good place. The audience is very much the fifth character in the piece so I’m excited to get them in now.
How has it been working with director James Hillier? Wonderful! He’s so passionate and excited about the play which makes it a real pleasure to work on together.
What were your first impressions of the play? As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted to do it. It’s so beguiling and different to anything I’ve read before.
What would you say is the main reason for people to come along to the Arcola to watch Not Talking? Any fans of Mike Bartlett will hopefully love seeing his first ever play and anyone new to him will have a great introduction to his unique style of writing. Also there’s lots of bad dancing.
Not Talking plays at the Arcola Theatre from the 25th April until the 2nd June. For more information visit: https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/not-talking/.