Nellie Tandoh Speaks to Pearl Mackie About Her Role in ‘Crystal Springs’ @ Park Theatre until 31st Aug 2014

Pearl Mackie

Pearl Mackie

Ahead of the opening night of Kathy Rucker’s ‘Crystal Springs’, showing at Park Theatre from 5th August 2014, I caught up with Pearl Mackie to delve into her character Mia, the world of social media and cyber – bullying.

Reading up on ‘Crystal Springs’ it seems that cyber-bullying is one of the main themes of this play. Being an online trend that has surfaced in the recent year, how does the play explore this subject?

It explores bullying and hate as an overall topic. It uses cyber-bullying as a way to kind of access that and sort of uses it to demonstrate that bullying is something that has been happening obviously for years and it’s not just happening amongst young people. Sometimes it is coming from an adult to another adult. Whether it is sugarcoated and there are lots of niceties above it, the bottom line is if you make someone feel victimised or horrible in any way, essentially that is bullying, if you are aware of it. The show explores cyber-bullying particularly and how dangerous it can be, because of the instant nature of the Internet. Once it’s there, it’s there! It’s so easy to write it and it’s so much easier not say it to someone’s face. I mean it takes quite a lot of courage to say some of the things people do say over the Internet, to someone’s face. You can hide behind your computer screen and you’re sort of a faceless person, but it’s then there for everyone to see and it can escalate a lot quicker…I don’t know how I would have managed to go through puberty in social media, it’s terrifying!

It is, as you said it escalates quite quickly, it just seems like a snowball effect, where it doesn’t stop…

Totally! Someone can put a picture on Facebook/Instagram and then someone comments on it, it can completely escalate and then you look at your phone half an hour later like wow! I don’t know how many people have seen this, shared it. It becomes completely out of your control.

That’s the scary part of it, the lack of control, especially amongst teens as well, where they don’t realise the impact it has…

Exactly! I’m censoring everything I put on the Internet, but as an adult I’m doing that because I kind of go ‘oh! I don’t want this to represent me professionally’ or I don’t want people to know loads of stuff about me, but as a young kid, I guess that doesn’t really come into it. [They] don’t really think so much into the long-term or about the future…or give it so much thought. It’s really dangerous and can have really horrible effects on people.

You play Mia? Could you explain to our readers, her role within the story?

Essentially Mia is one of the unwilling perpetrators. She is one of the people who start the cyber-bullying that goes on within the play. But I think what’s so clever about the piece, and is reflected in Mia’s character as well, is that things can just sort of start from one thing that is seemingly harmless and then done for various different reasons. She’s very keen to please her boss; she’s quite an insecure person anyway, who wants approval and this is the thing that is getting her approval, but it then very quickly escalates into something that she didn’t want it to be, that no one wanted it to be. So it really shows how one little idea can snowball as you said. It’s scary but [the play] it’s quite funny in places. There’s a bit of light relief, it’s not all dark.

Did you do any background research to develop Mia?

Yeah.  Well not to develop Mia specifically. I mean she’s quite a normal girl, a normal young woman. We’ve done a lot of exploration in rehearsals, into character back-story and we’ve been using a technique called ‘under-reading’, which is really interesting. For example, there are two people in the scene and you have the assistant director, who reads in your lines for you and then you say them at a given point, when you feel it’s appropriate. What’s really good about it is we’ve been doing it lying on the floor laughing and running around pretending to be six year olds. Jemma (director) has put us in quite strange physical positions in order to explore some of the emotional depth that the characters reach. It’s quite freeing because you’re not standing there with your script in your hand, thinking about what your lines are and how you’re going to deliver them. It’s not about the lines, it’s how you feel about the lines and sometimes it can really make you realise that you feel totally different emotions to how you’ve been initially reading it or the way you thought you were going to play it. It can be quite liberating and that has been an interesting way of exploring the characters.

Could you relate to Mia in any way, if at all?

Yeah. I mean, I think one of the really strong things about Kathy’s writing is that all of the characters have a huge humanity to them. They’re all human, they are all people, they’re all flawed, they’re all insecure, they’re all wanting people to like them, sort of the same as me, definitely. I know there are elements of Mia, specific details that I couldn’t quite relate to, but then she’s human and sometimes we do things that are out of character. That’s one of the brilliant things about Kathy’s play…they are all women, they are all flawed and interesting. No one is good and no one is bad and that’s something that is revealed as the play goes on. No one is actually the bad guy, which makes it much harder to digest. It makes you think that this could have actually happened to anyone.

The play sound even more intriguing now because it’s a situation that maybe not everyone has experienced, but could relate to, especially with social media sites like Twitter, where people always put their two pence in, people are contributing without realising that they are…

Yes. That’s exactly true. You can leave a comment on one of your best friend’s photos and they may find it slightly rude and you may not have meant it in that way. Even the way you can misconstrue tone through a text message, it’s so easy to do over Instagram or twitter. Twitter, you’ve only got 140 characters – how are you supposed to explain yourself clearly! [Laughs]

As part of this production, what have you learnt?

I’ve learnt a lot! I’m usually quite a head actor, where I’ll receive the text, go through it and say ‘yes I understand it, I know how it works, this is how I’ll deliver it’. It’s taught me a lot more to go with my gut and what is written is what is written. You will learn it and you know the text that’s there, but exploring it from different places, how you feel about it, is an interesting way to unlock it. All people can say things, but mean something completely different, so it’s taught me to explore things in different ways and not rely on the techniques that I know and love.

How have the rehearsals been?

They’ve been great. Really, really interesting. It’s been a really supportive room from the get go. I think Jemma has been absolutely amazing, she’s a fantastic director and I’m not just saying that because she’ll be reading [Laughs]. It’s been brilliant. I think Jemma and Angela [Angela Bull – founder of Epsilon Productions] have worked together for a while and we all just seemed to click really easily and I think that’s partially Jemma making us feel really comfortable, in a really safe space. And again, not having a script in your hand makes you think you can explore this and it’s not just about getting it right, it’s about finding it and having that feeling that we’re all in this together. It’s been great; there’s been a lot of laughter and a lot of hugs, because it is quite a depressing subject. We’re making sure that we look after each other.

As you said, its quite a depressing topic, have there been any difficulties during production?

It’s been a difficult process, particularly with research and researching some of the terrible effects that cyber-bullying can have on younger children, it’s been quite shocking. When I first heard about the play and was asked to audition for it, I didn’t realise the extent of it until I explored it in research and in rehearsal. I didn’t realise the impact that it had. It felt like it wasn’t real, it’s just cyber. But that is actually the danger of it and that’s why it’s seen as not a real thing. There are no laws and no proof that a comment that someone said led directly to this person feeling like this or doing this. That’s been quite difficult, but in an enlightening way and I just hope that a lot of young teenagers and adults that use social media, understand that words even if they are in the ether of the internet can still be really powerful.

What was it about this play that made you decide to audition for this part?

Actually I was asked to audition for the part of Claire, who is a reporter in the piece. It’s a very interesting part as well. Very, very different to Mia. I’m glad they cast me as Mia and I’m glad they’ve cast Lucy [Roslyn] as Claire. Mia has been more of an interesting exploration, in terms of her emotion. I’m quite an outgoing person, but I haven’t always been and I think that’s what Mia has tapped into me from when I was a bit younger and a bit shyer, a bit more awkward at school and stuff like that. It’s allowed me to access bits of that, that I’d thought I had forgotten or maybe wanted to forget…there are so many levels to her. She’s so vulnerable, but also she is one of the perpetrators…she’s fascinating – she’s human. That’s what really drew me to the play as a whole as well.

Will the audience be able to relate to Mia and/or any of the other characters?

I think they will.  As I mentioned, the writing is very beautiful, in the way the characters are put together. They all do have their flaws, things about them that are interesting. There are things in all the characters that I think everybody could relate to. Particularly with Mia and the other two girls, for adults and parents who have children, the older female characters, people will be able to relate to how they behave to protect their children. I haven’t got any kids, but you can still sort of understand it. I’ve got a young nephew and how I feel strongly about him and he’s not even my child, you can see what great lengths people would go to, to protect their children. There’s a lot to get out of it.

What is the one thing you would like the audience to take from Crystal Springs?

I think an appreciation for the fact that bullying is not an acceptable thing to do at any level and it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, how confident you are, how introverted you are…you still can be a bully and you can still be bullied. It’s not ok to make someone feel a way that you wouldn’t want to feel, to make someone feel victimised in any way.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I haven’t got anything lined up at the moment…that’s the worst question you can ask an actor [Laughs]. At the moment, I’m just knee deep in invitations to write and send to various casting directors to get them to come and see the show, so hopefully it will be a good platform to springboard into some other stuff in the future.

Epsilon Productions present ‘Crystal Springs’ will be running at Park theatre from the 5th -31st August 2014.

To book tickets, please click the link below:
https://boxoffice.parktheatre.co.uk/ParkTheatre.dll/TSelectItems.waSelectItemsPrompt.TcsWebMenuItem_0.TcsWebTab_0.TcsProgramme_2043921

You can also view Pearl’s website here  and follow her on Twitter here

 

interview with pearl mackie for the british blacklist by @Nellie_Ville

19 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. ChasFlindy says
    25 August 17, 5:29am

    Dosage For Amoxil For Children cialis Keflex For Cellulitis

  2. 20 August 17, 4:44am

    It’s actually very difficult in this active
    life to listen news on TV, thus I only use internet
    for that purpose, and obtain the newest news.

  3. j.mp says
    11 March 17, 6:19pm

    Now I am going away to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming yet again to
    read other news.

  4. 04 March 17, 12:33pm

    For newest news you have to pay a quick visit internet and
    on internet I found this web site as a finest site for latest
    updates.

  5. minecraft says
    24 February 17, 5:32pm

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how can i subscribe
    for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  6. 15 February 17, 11:58pm

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have be aware your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely excellent.
    I actually like what you’ve bought here, certainly like what you are saying and the best way wherein you assert it.
    You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it smart.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

  7. 14 February 17, 11:06am

    What’s up, its nice post on the topic of media print, we all understand media is
    a fantastic source of data.

  8. g says
    07 February 17, 4:48pm

    This piece of writing gives clear idea in support of the new users of blogging,
    that really how to do blogging.

  9. bit.ly says
    07 February 17, 12:50pm

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got
    some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  10. minecraft says
    04 February 17, 12:48pm

    You made some good points there. I looked on the net to learn more about the issue
    and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  11. 03 February 17, 11:58am

    Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host
    are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  12. 28 January 17, 7:22am

    excellent issues altogether, you just gained a new reader.

    What may you recommend about your submit that you made a few days in the past?
    Any sure?

  13. 26 January 17, 10:57am

    I think this is among the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But want to remark on few general things, The web site style is perfect, the
    articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  14. 05 January 17, 5:20am

    Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  15. 31 December 16, 4:51pm

    For the reason that the admin of this site is working, no question very
    soon it will be famous, due to its feature contents.

  16. 27 December 16, 11:16am

    May I simply just say what a comfort to discover an individual who
    really understands what they are discussing on the net.
    You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of
    your story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular
    given that you surely possess the gift.

  17. 24 December 16, 7:43am

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve you guys
    to blogroll.

  18. minecraft says
    11 October 16, 2:52am

    This article offers clear idea in support of the new visitors of blogging, that truly
    how to do running a blog.

  19. 01 October 16, 7:49am

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

Leave a Reply

*

code