Semi-autobiographical Skin a Cat, running at London’s new Bunker Theatre from 12 October to 5 November 2016, is a personal and ambitious story of sexual discovery and dysfunction, exploring the challenges and consequences of not having a ‘normal’ sex life. Alana’s journey is unique and yet Skin a Cat speaks to our shared experiences with joy, candour and levity, making a difficult subject more accessible. I interviewed the show’s director, Blythe Stewart…
Thanks for chatting to Break A Leg. Tell me about Skin a Cat and your vision for the show.
Skin A Cat is a boldly honest play about a young woman coming to terms with her experiences of growing up and how they don’t quite match up to the experiences of those around her. We didn’t want to shy away from the rude and playful experiences of becoming an adult, which means we got up to lots of boisterous and theatrical things that helped develop the show’s style.
Did you have initial ideas about casting and what you wanted actors to bring to the piece?
We were most excited about meeting with actors who were able to be made fun of and who could think deeply about all the expectations of sex and growing up. We wanted actors who could be playful, adventurous, optimistic and generous and these three (Lydia Larson, Jessica Clark, Jassa Ahluwalia) really are. They lifted the work and made the rehearsals a complete joy.
What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?
I hope people will cringe, laugh and enjoy seeing a story about sex and the quirks of our bodies that are so different.
Have rehearsals altered your initial thoughts, at all?
By working on such a personal play, we reconnected to and shared our individual experiences of growing up, which absolutely coloured and shaped the world of the play. It’s such a privilege to work with these three inquisitive and playful actors, and our imaginative creative team because they’re always developing our ideas on what the world of Alana really feels and looks like.
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
Writer Isley Lynn is brilliant and the actors are mavericks. It’s funny, cringe-worthy, and refreshing to be able to experience the first-hand accounts of someone’s first time. Skin A Cat is for everyone.