We chatted to Kate about starring as Janice in the world premiere of The Still Room, currently playing at the Park Theatre.
Hi Kate – could you explain a little more about what The Still Room is about?
The Still Room is about how working class girls in 1980s Manchester are viewed through the eyes of those around them. They’re thought of as common, as promiscuous, as of service to those around them… but they are funny and smart and sharp. Our writer Sally Rogers asks the perfect question which I feel sums up this play, why in this country do we reward privilege but not potential? This is what this whole play is about.
How does it feel to be part of this world premiere production?
I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I feel to be a part of this incredible production. This is my professional theatre debut and for it to be this play is just amazing. Sally has created a such nuanced and incredible play with so much meaning behind everything. I’m originally from Liverpool, so to read a play that feels like I’m back home, feeling that northern air to it, it honestly means everything.
What made you want to be part of The Still Room?
As soon as our director, Nigel Douglas sent me the script I was absolutely hooked. I mean, it’s very funny!!! But, being originally from Liverpool, growing up in a working class household and working in hospitality until my late 20s – it couldn’t have felt more relevant for me. I knew these characters, I had a Karen for a best friend, I flirted with the Deans of the hospitality world. I knew these people, I have felt these feelings that Janice felt as a teenager.
How do you see your character Janice?
Janice. What a girl she is. Her ambition drives her consistently throughout the play. She is a girl who doesn’t know exactly what she wants, but she knows she wants more than what she currently has – she wants ‘great things’. I find so many wonderful things about her day to day, and that is down purely to Sally’s writing. She is flawed, she is beautiful, she’s funny and ultimately she is stuck at this key moment in her life. How can she progress forwards? She knows she has all the potential, but what can she do with it?
What do you think audiences will take away from The Still Room?
What will the audiences take away from this. What a question. Firstly, I think they’re going to feel knackered from all the laughing! Seriously though, I think they’re going to leave feeling a number of different emotions. Empowered. Humbled. Sad. Inspired. It’s a play that provokes, so I’m sure everyone will feel a lot things. But ultimately, everyone who comes to watch our play is going to have a fantastic night out.
How has it been working on the production so far?
Working on the production has been absolutely wonderful. To work with this level of talent every day in my fellow actors, Larner, Jack, Zoe, Chris and Jane and creatively with Nigel and Sally is an absolute dream. To be completely honest with you, I’m playing a character which feels like a part of me, where I’m from and the way I grew up – I’m beyond living my dream.
The Still Room continues to play at the Park Theatre, London until 25 June 2022.