Imogen Stubbs talks about her role in acclaimed Warwick Arts Centre show
Renowned theatre company Frantic Assembly is staging itsÂ production Things I Know To Be True atÂ Warwick Arts Centre until SaturdayÂ October 22.
With a leading cast including Imogen Stubbs and Natalie Casey, this new commission by leading Australian writer Andrew Bovell is described as “an exquisite and poignant insight into the workings of a family”. The story is told through the eyes of four grown siblings, struggling to define themselves beyond their parents’ love and expectations.
The show is a collaboration with State Theatre Company of South Australia and features Frantic Assembly’s celebrated physicality supported by an experienced cast. Among them is Imogen Stubbs, who has countless credits from her long illustrious career including the RSC and National and appearances in the West End, as well as Natalie Casey, who is best known for her long term characters in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Hollyoaks. Call 024 7652 4524 or visit www.warwickartscentre.co.uk to book.
* Imogen Stubbs talks about her role in Things I Know To Be True at Warwick Arts Centre
Q: What drew you to the play and the part?A: I really wanted to work with Frantic Assembly because I really liked them, and the people who are directing are really gorgeous and funny, which is a great bonus. I wanted to do something that was physical. And also, it’s a really good part – very different for me, a challenge.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your character in the play? A: She’s a matriarch; somebody who’s actually, in some ways, thwarted by her situation, and by having children. Though she’s passionately proud of her children, and champions them, at the same time, up to a point, they are the reason she didn’t do more with her own life, and in some ways I expect there is some sort of residual resentment or sadness there. And therefore, some of the things the children do reflect elements of her own personality that’s been suppressed.
Q: You’ve worked on both stage and on screen – which do you prefer?A: Stage. I’ve never been very comfortable with the camera, and also, not that I’ve ever been particularly famous, but I think fame is a curse – being recognised these days is just a nightmare, not a huge bonus. I think in old days, actors retained some mystery, especially those that leave the stage door with a cloak wrapped around them. I think mystery is a really handy thing for an actor to have, if they’re lucky enough to be able to hold onto it.
Q: What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?A: I think it’s really hard now. You’ve got to be so hardy; you have to have enormous self-esteem, otherwise don’t do it. You’ve got to have enormous self-confidence just by whatever happens to you. What do I wish people had told me? One of the things is that crying doesn’t equal great acting. I think lots of young actors think, I have to really go there every single time there’s an emotional thing; I’ve got to really cry - I’ve got to put myself in a very dark, miserable place and cry. That’s what I think is quite a good thing to learn; that you don’t have to cry every time you’re playing somebody sad. I mean you can, but sometimes it’s more powerful not to cry. And it’s just a stupid thing like that you really think, oh god I get it. And also, you need to learn: what works on telly, doesn’t work on stage necessarily; that there is a technique to appearing natural on stage, which isn’t television naturalism.