Deborah Faye Lee: Joseph K is arrested for an unspecified crime. If you were Joseph K, what would that crime be?
Elouise Eftos: Oh god there’s so many things I could be arrested for… playing music too loudly, being too loud in general, being too extra (not sure why that’s a crime though to be honest, if anything that should be rewarded). Probably my worst offence is laughing at my own jokes though… that’s pretty bad.
You’re a stand up comedian, in addition to being an actor. How has your knack for comedy helped when working on this show?
Honestly being a comedian actually makes you super critical of what is and isn’t funny and for me personally it’s made me look at every little bit of a joke or gag so intricately (maybe sometimes too much) that it’s been really helpful with a lot of elements within my performance. From the timing, the set ups, just even the inflection in my voice, and how that can change everything in a scene. I think being a stand up comedian in the acting world really helps you when you’ve got an audience watching, I’m excited and a little nervous to see what jokes or moments do land (and especially what doesn’t land at all). Doing stand up makes you realise that your favourite jokes might not work every night or a moment you didn’t think was funny at all might get an unexpected laugh. I think that makes you extremely resilient and quick on your feet, which is so important in the realm of acting. Live theatre is so exhilarating because anything can happen and I think stand up comedy is the same in that sense, if something goes wrong the best actors and comedians can make it seem like it was all planned and part of the show, which isn’t easy to do but definitely easier with time.
What’s your current obsession… please don’t say it’s dolls?!
Oh god, no doll obsession here I promise. I don’t know if this is that current because I’ve had this obsession for quite a while, but I am obsessed with Disco: the music, the dancing, the fashion. I can’t getenough! I would pay a lot of money to go back in time and attend Studio 54. Also if anyone is having a disco themed party anytime soon I’ve got a gold glomesh dress ready to wear so please invite me… please.
Who are some of the actor/comedians you look up to?
I have so many favourite actors & comedians that I could take up more than half of Suzy’s blog, so I’ll try and keep it short. One actor that is finally on my radar is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I was very late to the party and just finished watching Fleabag and it is so fantastic. Would love to work with her one day or be her one day, she literally does it all, creating, writing and starring in her own projects and is so unapologetically funny. Also Natasha Leggero, Chelsea Peretti & Amy Schumer are three very unapologetic women who actually changed my view of stand up comedy completely and I think they all inspired me to write/finally get up and do my first 5 minute set.
What makes this production of Joseph K worth watching?
Apart from the fact that the script is so well written and such a great modern adaption of Franz Kafka’s The Trial, our cast is also such a talented and hilarious bunch of people that it would be a shame for anyone to miss us all play a myriad of wild and colourful characters (with multiple different UK accents). It’s a very funny show but with very dark moments that reflect our current issues (state control being my favourite), so you’ll laugh, cry and maybe get extremely freaked out, but I promise it’s worth it!
Elouise Eftos: You play a very strong female role in the play, what similarities did you find you had with your character Wendy?
Deborah Faye Lee: Part of Wendy’s strength is that she is unafraid to stand up and speak out, not just for herself but for others in her community. We do share certain similarities in that sense. She is also unrelenting in her pursuit of what she wants, even if the odds are against her.
If you could play any of the other playful characters in the cast, who would you choose and why?
It’s a tough one but I think it’ll come down to Joseph K, Ian Huld or Rose. Joseph K, because it’ll be such an adventure having to juggle all the other characters for the entire show whilst going through the ups and downs in his journey, which are a lot… that would be such a challenge! Ian Huld and Rose have such iconic lines which always puts a smile on my face. That would be so much fun.
Do you have any pre show rituals I should know about before opening night?
I like to have clear headspace before I go on. So after getting my makeup done, I usually pack my dressing table and make sure it’s neat and clear. I tend to not listen to any music and also try not to look at my phone from about the half hour call.
Your character gets to travel to NYC for business, where would you like to be flown over to for work?
That’ll be such a luxury! It’s a hard one between Portugal and Spain. But I’d love to be flown to Barcelona in spring. You would get lots of daylight so that gives you more time to explore the rich culture, architecture and savour that glorious food. It’s every foodie’s dream!
Now I assume you’ve never been arrested but if you were, what would your crime be?
Ha! A group of schoolmates and I were previously rounded up by the police for trespassing. We snuck into a compound and were playing one of those haunted houses type of thing. People were concerned after hearing lots of screaming coming from where we were. There was a bit of chase from the police too, so that was quite an experience! But to answer your question, I’m known to have a weird fascination with potatoes so my crime would probably be something related to that. FYI apparently it’s an offence to be in possession of more than 50kg of potatoes in WA!
Elouise Eftos and Deborah Faye Lee can be seen in Joseph K, by Tom Basden.
Dates: 1 – 18 May, 2019
Venue: Limelight on Oxford