Asalemo Tofete: What are the pleasures and challenges you’ve found in performing this new work?
Tara Clark: The pleasures and the challenges have been one in the same. It’s a pretty huge cast of twelve, and I’ve never worked with any of the other actors before. That’s been a real treat. At the same time, it’s a cast of twelve and I think we’ve only all been in the same room on one or two occasions!
The play is about the power of stories, in the political sphere and in our personal lives. What stories do you fill your head with?
Pure filth, Asa. Nothing I could repeat in polite company. In seriousness though, I’m trying to read more novels this year and fewer plays. I recently finished We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. It’s absolutely harrowing. Notwithstanding, it’s an incredible read. I’ve seen the film and the novel still managed to surprise me. Highly recommended.
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage and why?
Question all my life choices until that moment, swallow my self-loathing and throw a few air punches.
If you had the chance to play any role in any show, what would it be and why?
Asa! What are you doing to me? How long have we got? My dream is to play Sylv in Berkoff’s East… because… because… Sylv’s speech of longing. Enough said.
Lastly, this show is a dark comedy, other than yourself and me, who in the cast is the funniest person in real life?
Well, it’s certainly not me. I never get to the play the funny girl. Largely because most often girls aren’t written to be funny, but let me step down off my soap box to answer your question… Everyone is great to have a laugh with… but I would have to say that Will Bartolo is one who I laugh at the most. He’s laughs on legs. No pressure Will.
Tara Clark: In a classic example of art imitating life, you play an actor known as The Player. How has The Player’s career trajectory differed from yours? Are there any similarities?
Asalemo Tofete: There are similar circumstances that The Player and I share like trying to convince others that he’s good. Also the love of performing in front of crowds and the swapping of troupes depending on the situation. So very similar. We both are pretty passionate about what we do, performing, sharing stories, sharing experiences. I think the only difference would be that in the end… well people will just have to come and see what happens to The Player in the end.
Did you always want to be an actor? If acting wasn’t an option, what would you be instead?
I started off at university, training to become a teacher. A friend of mine suggested the Theatre course and, well, the rest is history. I guess if I hadn’t had the curiosity to try the theatre course I would have become an educator shaping the minds of our future geniuses (or that’s what I like to think I’d be doing).
Appropriation picks up where Hamlet leaves off. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any great story (play, novel or film) what would it be and how would it play out?
Ooooohhhhh! That’s a good one. If I were to stick to a Shakespeare play, I would probably like to write the sequel to Much Ado About Nothing… following Don John’s escape. Where DJ would gather an army and return to march on Messina where he would in the end be killed by the waiting woman Margaret who then marries the night watchman Verges and because everyone is dead becomes the Queen of Messina – of course, with a whole lot of twists and turns along the way.
What has been the highlight of working on Appropriation for you?
Working with this very talented cast. Everyone has their own particular skills set that they bring with them. Especially leading the music, as the #fakemusicguy, this cast has blown my mind, with what they’ve come up with. Also being a part of this new work gives me the chance to be the first to speak these words, the first person to bring The Player to life. That in itself is pretty exciting.
Please translate the following sentence into Shakespearean English: “Check out Appropriation, playing at Studio Blueprint from April 17th to 27th.”
The year of our Lord two thousand nineteen,
The Fledgling troupe presents a tale for you,
A tale that fish would sooner fly than swim,
Appropriation is the name forsooth,
It playeth at the play house of Blueprint,
From seventeen to twenty seventh moon,
Of April it shall play. Come one come all.
Checketh us out, before we checketh out!
Tara Clark and Asalemo Tofete can be seen in Appropriation, by Paul Gilchrist.
Dates: 12 – 24 Apr, 2019
Venue: Studio Blueprint