We chatted to Charlie about starring in the World Premiere of Mad House at the Ambassadors Theatre.
Could you explain for those who don’t know what Mad House is about? Where to begin? Well the crux of Mad House explores the fallout of a merciless fathers terminal
diagnosis. Theresa’s patriarch relishes baiting his children into wrangling over the spoils. It’s dynamic, messy, and very entertaining.
What did you think of Theresa Rebeck’s play when you first read it? I was hooked by the abusive familial relationships. These people are horrendous to one another
and yet you still feel a hint of tenderness between them. Everyone is justified… sort of. There are no villains, only family members feuding.
What can you tell me about your character Skylar? She’s a firecracker. She oozes that confidence you feel in your early 20s. Bold, smart, a shameless chaser of THE exciting time. Skyler and her best pal Devon know what they can gain from owning their sexuality: security (personally and financially) and fun, no two nights are the same.
How have you found working on the production so far? This is my first professional theatre gig since leaving drama school and I feel pretty honoured
about that. We flew out to New York to rehearse for 4 weeks- who does that? I have to keep checking myself because it all feels very surreal still. From the moment we began the very first read- through, I felt giddy. This play is so fraught and tasty and the cast are INSANE. I’m making a list so I can steal things from all of them in the future. Every single person working on this show feels like they’re playing at the top of their game. It’s an exciting feeling, being at the birth of something.
What would you say audiences will potentially take away from Mad House? I think they’ll be shocked, hopefully introspective. Do I talk to the people I’m supposed to be
eternally bonded with like these people? Why can’t we choose our own family? Hopefully a few people will reframe how they see and treat those they deem ‘mad’?
Hopefully a few will run down the street naked, screaming ‘I am Jesus’… you won’t get that yet, but you will.
What was it that made you want to be part of the production? Apologies for being painfully obvious, but everything. Theresa, Moritz, Bill, Akiya, Sinead, Stephen,
Hanako, New York, a knotty family drama, a chance to get back in touch with my own femininity by playing someone who loves theirs.
If you had to describe Mad House in three words what would they be? Deathly, Maddening, Life affirming.
By Emma Clarendon