Jack Studio Theatre - Edgar Allan Poe Double Bill - An Interview with Bethan Maddocks

This Edgar Allan Poe Double Bill is all about secrets and  who better to reveal the secrets of Bethan Maddocks than the lady herself?
We might be only days away from opening a ground breaking show but Bethan has kindly given us a little insight into the dual production.

What drew you to the project?
It is different to anything I've done before, and I think as an actor you're always eager to grab something that you feel will challenge you! As a performer who loves physical theatre, I was fascinated to see how it would be incorporated into the gothic style of these Edgar Allan Poe adaptations and excited to be part of the devising process.

What were you working on before?

I completed my third UK tour with Cats Pyjamas Productions, touring a variety of One-Woman musical shows, and most recently I finished work on short film Mending Wall with Pangean Productions, in association with The Poetry Foundation and Silhouette Films.

What is your role in the shows & how difficult is it juggling two very different styles?

I play Duchess Chantelle in Masque Of The Red Death and Bristol in Fall Of The House Of Usher - two completely opposing characters! The competition in this business is so high that you are required to fit yourself into a casting bracket and build your career out of that, but Okai Collier Company and Evcol Entertainment have given me the rare opportunity to play with different roles that I would not otherwise have the chance to do, and it's been great fun! The physical aspect of the work is what has helped me most in tackling these two styles. Duchess Chantelle holds herself in such a proud and controlled manner, completely contrasting with Bristol's 'jittering' low status style. It's honestly such a great lesson because it takes you back to basics, and that is what your whole training was built on.

Who is your favourite character? 
Ooh I couldn't possibly make a definitive choice! As a 21st century woman I can't help but be drawn to the very strong female roles that we have and Duchess Chantelle is definitely strong, but I do have a lot of love for Bristol and her comedic antics...poor Bristol!

Which of the shows is your personal favourite and why?
I've changed my mind about this every day during this rehearsal period. I find Fall Of The House Of Usher very Chekov-like and sometimes you despair when these characters refuse to help themselves. However you soon realise with this adaptation that it is never that simple - there are so many influences and emotions at play, Bristol's moral dilemma and final choice at the end being just one example. 
Masque Of The Red Death for me carries a strong political message that is so very prominent in our current climate, so I am perhaps swayed towards this a little more because it's so important to hear.
What are you up to next?
I will be going into rehearsals for a new devised production for the Edinburgh Fringe, based on the subject of Feminism (yes that's right, I said feminism!). I love the Fringe - it gives performers, writers, directors and companies the platform to create new and exciting work and gain the exposure that they might otherwise struggle to receive.

The Edgar Allan Poe Double Bill runs at Jack Studio Theatre 6 - 24 June 2017 at 7.45pm

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