Emma is a role to stand shoulder to shoulder with Rooster from Jerusalem. It wouldn’t surprise me in years to come if female actors mention the role in conversations about dream roles in the same way their male counterparts do Hamlet. It is, in short, a gift.
The plays I like to direct tend to feature people being forced by their natures and circumstances into a conflict they can’t avoid. Since, one way or another, life seems sooner or later to plonk most of us into that boat, it feels natural to conclude that one reason we go to the theatre is to bear witness to the tough stuff of being human.