INTERVIEW: Spotlight On… The Enchanted’s Jade Ogugua

In Interviews, London theatre, Plays by Helen McWilliamsLeave a Comment

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Pharmacy Theatre present the London transfer of their debut show – a highly-acclaimed adaptation of death penalty investigator Rene Denfeld’s award-winning novel.  The Enchanted highlights issues around capital punishment, child abuse, and the self-perpetuating cycle of violence corrupting the US penitentiary. Star of the production, Jade Ogugua chatted to Break A Leg: 
Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Jade. Tell me about the piece and your character.

The Enchanted is about death row in the US and the role of nature and nurture in creating the people on it, but it’s also about the beauty and pain of human existence and the stories we create to face it. My character, The Lady, is an investigator whose job is to find out why the people we call monsters became who they are.

What was your initial impression of the script?

Relief! The focus on nature and the sounds and shapes of conversations and the magic you experience by being alive was not at all what I had expected from a script about death row and was a pleasant surprise!

Was it easy to translate from page to stage?

The script does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of the original novel and I think the use of movement was really key in translating how much of The Enchanted is about the place just beyond human reality. The slight downside of having the book to work from was my desire to try and convey every single thought and motive that was detailed so beautifully by Rene Denfeld!

Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role?

I watched a great talk by Rene Denfeld about the art and importance of empathetic listening and I really wanted to highlight The Lady’s gift for listening to pretty terrible truths with such an open mind and heart.

How does The Bunker lend itself to the piece?

Well most of the play is set in an underground prison so an underground theatre couldn’t be more perfect!

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

I just think it’s a fascinating and important subject matter. The nature versus nurture question is always a great conversation starter and I think The Enchanted adds something to that conversation. Also, great book, great script, great cast!

Thank you Jade, wishing you all the best with the run!

Helen McWilliams
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business.

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Helen McWilliams
Helen McWilliams is a Midlands-based reviewer, but is happy travelling anywhere and everywhere to pursue her love of the theatre. Since 2013, she has been combining her passions for writing and theatre in her Entertainment Views site (formerly Break A Leg). She also enjoys interviewing actors, writers and other professionals from the business.

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