How would you describe the work that you do?
I have been an actor for over twenty years. When I’m not acting I teach/direct in schools and Fife College. I’ve recently started writing plays and was one of the Traverse 50 last year and have been commissioned by the Traverse for a project this year. I have also been awarded the New Playwrights Award 2014 from The Playwrights’ Studio Scotland.
What do you like best about acting?
Rehearsals. Developing a character is the most creative part of the job.
What do you consider your best work and why?
I enjoyed doing The Guid Sisters. The director Serge Denincourt pushed me to try out how far you could go with a character.
What was your first ever job?
A Saturday job in Curtess shoe shop in Kirkcaldy Mercat when I was fifteen. I kept getting a row for pronouncing it ‘Curtis’ instead of ‘Cur-Tess’. So maybe not that different from acting.
What was the contact/opportunity/job offer that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
My first big job after maternity leave was 27 by Abi Morgan for National Theatre of Scotland/ Lyceum. It was directed by Vicky Featherstone who I had wanted to work with since I left drama college. It made a difference because I was thinking about giving up acting but absolutely loved this job and just had such a laugh.
What’s the biggest opportunity that you missed or wished you had taken up but didn’t?
I’ve turned down quite a bit of work in London as I want to stay in Scotland, but the biggest regret is not doing Crave by Sarah Kane, directed by Vicky Featherstone. I decided to do teacher training instead.
What’s your favourite play or piece of theatre?
The Seven Streams of the River Ota Robert Lepage. I saw the eight hour version and the five hour one. Normally, I don’t think a piece of theatre should be more than two hours.
What do you like the best about working in theatre?
Working with people who see the world in the same way.
What advice would you give emerging female practitioners in theatre today?
Things are better than they were. I’ve thought long and hard about this and that’s all I can come up with. I kind of feel it’s not up to us. Theatre companies need to employ more women in ALL theatre jobs. We have to keep the pressure up on this. For example, there seem to be a lot of female assistant directors around who are not getting a chance to move up and direct their own shows.
Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?
I’ve got two.
Actor Meg Fraser; utterly mesmerising to watch and you can’t see the working. I just can’t figure out how she does it. Actor Gabriel Quigley; a genius with new writing. She can smell bad writing a mile off but knows how to makes it work better or cover it up. She’s been in all of my plays and I will continue to write with her in mind.