Love London Love Culture’s Editor Emma Clarendon spoke to the actress about starring in the world premiere of Thick as Thieves playing at the Theatr Clwyd.
Hi Polly, thanks for talking to me. Could you tell me more about what Thick As Thieves is about? Thick as Thieves is a huge play in a tiny format! Part thriller part devastatingly raw confessional-the story focuses on two sisters brought up and mistreated in the care system who meet 25 years later, having being separated at an early age after a traumatic event that has remained hidden since. Their lives have taken very different directions and the play uses this to explore notions of care, parenting, identity, love and the forces of capitalism.
What were your initial impressions of Katherine Chandler’s play? There were a number of massive draws about this play: the script was brilliant and very challenging, working with the director Roisin McBrinn and with Clean Break, an organisation whose work is vital and inspiring. We will also be touring the production to a number of women’s prisons, and workshopping elements of the play with audiences there, which I think will be really interesting and hopefully mutually beneficial.
Could you tell us more about your character? I play Gail, the scrappier of the two sisters when they were children, now a mother of two boys herself. Gail has spent her young life in a variety in care homes and has struggled as an adult to function under the strictures society imposes on her. She has ‘always been in bother’, but is a tremendous survivor with a huge capacity for both love and fury and a great sense of humour!
How have you found working with Director Roisin McBrinn? A total joy. My first impression of Kath Chandler’s script was that it seemed effortlessly natural and I was immediately totally gripped and deeply unnerved! It is also deceptively simple. The more you read, the more complicated you realise it is.
What can audiences expect from this production? An extraordinary play with is a tense, moving story – and a bumpy ride!
By Emma Clarendon
Thick as Thieves continues to play at the Theatre Clwyd until the 27th October, before travelling to the Salisbury Playhouse (8th-10th November) and Hull Truck Theatre (20th-21st November).