5 Questions with Nicola James and Natalie Freeman

Nicola James

Nicola James

Natalie Freeman: Tell me about Golden Jam Productions, how did that start?
Nicola James: Golden Jam started as a catalyst for me to put on a short play that I wrote last year. So I decided to start an independent theatre company so that I could produce it and get it up. And also going into the future it is something that I want to use to produce new work and great work that hasn’t be done for a while and deserves to be put on. It is also place for me to showcase myself and other emerging actors, to give them an amazing platform to do their work because it is quite hard to get a break in this crazy industry.

Why the Old Fitz?
I’ve seen quite a few shows at the Old Fitz over the years and I think it is an amazing space. And it is a great space for weird and wonderful work because it is attached to a pub and so it has that kind of playful drinking atmosphere which means you can really let loose and play to an appreciative if somewhat boozed crowd.

If you weren’t an actor/producer/director/writer what would you be?
I’ve actually been asked this question a couple of times recently, and it may sound lame, but this is what I would be doing. This is the thing that if you asked me 5 years ago ‘if I could do anything what would I do?’ – this is it. So I’ve already done the things I wouldn’t be doing, and now I’m finally doing that thing that I’ve always wanted to.

What motivates you to act?
The reason I act and the reason I make theatre is because being a human is a challenging and wonderful and hilarious thing and I think that if we don’t take time to look back on that and to share that experience with other people then we are missing the point of life.

For a long time you worked in bars, including managing a bar. So what is your drink of choice? If there is one drink that you could have for the rest of your life what would it be?
One drink to end all drinks? I’m a beer girl, through and through and I’m a beer nerd so I love my craft beer. But in saying that, now that it’s colder I’m drinking a tonne of red wine and I’m back on the whiskey (how apt) but there is nothing better than a straight up, peaty, smokey whiskey – Yum!

Natalie Freeman

Natalie Freeman

Nicola James: So how did you get involved with Golden Jam Productions?
Natalie Freeman: Well, I went to college with Nicola who is the head honcho at Golden Jam. We always wanted to work together but we didn’t get to do that much together while we were studying. We have a lot of things in common, we’re the same age, we’re both really motivated to put on some really interesting work and just get out there post college. We both definitely did not want to be sitting out there waiting for and agent or a casting director to call.

Why these two plays?
We’ll they are certainly challenging and I wanted a challenge. They are both about the extremes, they go to a depth of human desire that I really wanted to explore. There is a lost of lust, and of wanting something more out of life. That feeling of “Is this it?” They’re both beautiful pieces in their own different ways. They are difficult texts that you really have to work at and the there is a real emotional necessity that you need to grab onto as well. So getting into these works is quite visceral, you need to invest your whole body and mind into it. And that’s the kind of theatre I like to do!

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate, chips and Game Of Thrones. There is always some period drama or fantasy that I’ll get into. I like escaping into other worlds.

What would be your dream role?
I think it would probably be Shakespeare, I don’t want to choose one, but it would be one of the female leads. It’s similar to these pieces that we’re doing. It would be a woman that has a lot of power, a lot of lust. I want to be on stage baring that. Also Lady Bracknell would be a lot of fun, I‘m not old enough but I think I could do her voice!

What’s your favourite lunch food?
I don’t know, I love food! Fish and chips? Or getting a BBQ chicken and salad. I think that’s what I’d choose?

Nicola James and Natalie Freeman will be appearing in Like Whiskey On The Breath Of A Drunk You Love / Lunch by Andrew Bovell and Steven Berkoff.
Dates: 21 – 25 July, 2015
Venue: The Old Fitz Theatre