Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s Kate Mayne talks about playing Peaseblossom in FairyMonsterGhost

Kate talks about her background in acting

I’ve been acting at school and in youth theatre since I was about 11. I’ve had a great interest in acting since I was at school and that’s what encouraged me to go to my local drama club, and I just really loved it. I went on to take drama A-level and then went on to study drama at university and along the way got involved in student productions outside of my course. I learnt how to work with lots of different people.

What’s Kate up to now?

Now I’m now doing the Made in Bristol project at Bristol Old Vic which is a group of us who trained with the young company, and have now formed our own theatre company, learning how to collaborate and make work. I’ve been doing lots of other little things here and there, finding opportunities and learning all the way.

Kate explains why she likes acting

I love exploring how characters work and learning why they do the things that they do and say the things that they say. I enjoy playing characters that are quite far away from me, but it’s also quite enjoyable to play characters that have similar characteristics. As an actress, you can use your own life experiences to help you identify with that character. I really enjoy being able to be someone else for a while, and seeing the world through their eyes.

Kate speaks about her favourite role.

I really love the character of Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I haven’t played the role in a full length play but I’ve done audition speeches for Juliet and was in a production where I played Juliet for one scene which I really enjoyed. It’s a great story, one of the oldest stories in the world and I find her quite a feisty character. It would be a real challenge to play.

Kate explains why she wanted to play Peaseblossom

I think Tim Crouch has created a really lovely character in Peaseblossom. I love the energy that Peaseblossom has and the way she narrates the story and tells the audience what she’s feeling as well as what she’s seeing in her world. I think she is quite a childlike character, which I can identify with as I have been told that I’m childlike – I’m quite young for my age, I think. I found Peaseblossom funny and quite lively.

Kate talks about Peaseblossom only having one line in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I think Peaseblossom probably appreciates the opportunity to voice her opinion that she gets in this monologue. I think she is baffled and confused by what goes on in A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, with all the characters falling in and out of love with each other. At the same time I think she understands that she has to follow the Queen of the Fairies and do what she’s told – she knows she has as job to do.

What Kate thinks about Peaseblossom’s attitude towards love and marriage

I think Peaseblossom is quite confused by the notions of love and marriage and doesn’t really understand why people appear to be so obsessed with it. She is a little bit scared of these things, because quite often in life we tend to be quite scared of things that we don’t understand. Love and marriage are talked about so often in plays and pieces of literature as things that are tied up with this adult world where you have to face your fears and confront things that you might be embarrassed about. It’s that fear factor for Peaseblossom. I think there is also an element of disgust on her part as well because she doesn’t like the idea of people coupling.

Kate’s thoughts on the way the play is split into different dreams

I love the way that the story is told. I especially like how pieces of the original story from A Midsummer Night’s Dream are told through Peaseblossom’s dreams and nightmares. There are moments where the events in the play actually happen and the audience get to see them from Peaseblossoms point of view. It adds to the whole confusion as well because Peaseblossom doesn’t really know if she is dreaming or if it’s really happening, which is sometimes how dreams feel anyway.

Kate talks about her first encounter with Shakespeare

The first time I encountered Shakespeare, I was in Year 9 studying Macbeth. We didn’t read the play all the way through, we just studied an extract from it, and I found the language quite difficult because it is quite strange and almost foreign at first. But it wasn’t until I was 18 that I had to choose a monologue for an audition, and I read Juliet. I read it on my own all the way through and really enjoyed taking it at my own pace, re-reading scenes I didn’t understand. That encouraged me to go and see Shakespeare on stage which I think is a really good thing to do. It lifts the language of the script and you get the energy of the characters when you see it live.

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