Interview With… Alice Sykes

The actress spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon  about starring in ‘In Lipstick’ at the Pleasance Theatre. 

Hi Alice – what can you tell me about ‘In Lipstick’?In Lipstick is a brilliant new play by Annie Jenkins about a woman called Maud who had found a new life for herself with my character, Cynthia. They create their own fantasy world for themselves, to escape from their pasts, and the play tells the story of how our relationship changes when Maud decides she maybe wants more from life. 

What did you initially think of the play when you first read it? I thought Annie’s writing was extremely original and really captured a beautiful friendship between Cynthia and Maud. As a reader, you get dragged into their bizarre relationship and their odd way of communicating and end up falling in love with these two messed up characters.  

Was there anything in particular that attracted you to the character of Cynthia? I loved her uniqueness as I’ve never come across a character like Cynth before, however saying that, as I’m spending more time working on the project I’m finding a lot of myself in her. She is a very outspoken character, yet she constantly has a barrier up. I love that you never know what she is really thinking, and as an audience member you are constantly questioning what is truth and what is a lie. This has always been something that I have questioned throughout rehearsals and trying to discover the truth in her character without giving too much away.

How has it been working with everybody on the production so far?  It has been a brilliant experience in the rehearsal room with such a female led team. Caroline and I have been working very closely together on the relationship between Maud and Cynthia, and it has been extremely fun to explore their basic yet somehow hectic way of living. Getting to work with Paddy and Caroline on the last scene has required a lot of energy from everyone, especially my character. It is an extremely ‘full on’ and energetic act in which we bring these three characters into the same room for the first and only time in the play for the final scene. Therefore, we have to work very hard on the dynamics to make sure it is believable yet exciting for the audience.

Was there anything that you feel you can relate to in the story? The characters love for Shirley Bassey, and how much they love to dress up and perform for each other. Maud and Cynthia’s relationship is very unique but the root of it all is their love and how they are always there for the each other. I think every one can relate to having someone in their life that they care about more than anything and this play is about discovering what lengths you will go to to hold onto that. 

If people are thinking about coming along to see the show – why should they? It is a beautiful piece about friendship and love. It is funny, entertaining and delves into what is really behind the facade. Although heartbreaking throughout, I think it will be a piece that everyone will fall in love with. 

By Emma Clarendon

In Lipstick will play at the Pleasance Theatre from the 8th to the 27th  January.  

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