Bunny is at White Bear Theatre from 7 – 25 March 2017, to book tickets follow this link: White Bear Theatre Box Office
Bunny by Jack Thorne
White Bear Theatre, 138 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ Tuesday 7th – Saturday 25th March 2017 Press Night: Thursday 9th March, 7pm
I think life can be basically divided into two things: suspense and surprise. I prefer surprise to suspense. But that’s basically because I feel suspense all the time.
A summer of love. A fight. A car chase. A siege. When Katie’s boyfriend is attacked on the streets of Luton, she is propelled outside her borders to the frontier of council estates and concrete jungles. Amidst the sweltering heat, the baying for blood and longing for love, Katie is forced to decide her future.
A vital tale for our times by multi-award winning playwright Jack Thorne, Bunny is an interrogation into the mind of one young girl struggling to find her place within a modern world lacking intimacy and connection. This compelling and thought-provoking show explores a powerful youth voice in Britain.
Bunny is a play with a young white woman at its centre – one who loses her underwear in a car on the outskirts of an estate to a bloke she knows nothing about. She doesn’t understand that she needs to escape, that she’s been sucked in. Now, more than ever, theatre needs to explore stories where women are made to feel powerless, inadequate and submissive. Now, more than ever, theatre needs to explore stories that help us to identify with the state of our nation.
Catherine Lamb, Lucy Curtis and Sophia Nicholson are a trio of up-and-coming female theatre makers seeking to present an unflinching, honest, intimate, vibrant and relatable story of our times. It is a compelling insight into what it is to be growing up today and the inevitable struggles, pressures and pitfalls of vulnerable young people.
Lucy Curtis comments: Bunny is about the state of our nation now – we are faced with youth unemployment, problematic political campaigns, factory closures and racial tensions in our communities. We are seeing the re-emergence of 20th century mentalities that, it turns out, were never completely left behind. They have stayed with us, and festered, and have now erupted across Britain, America and the rest of world. We see this through the eyes of Katie: a white, middle-class eighteen year old who wants to be anything but white, middle-class and eighteen. Bunny is about dialogue and about the understanding that can be reached between different people – through empathy.
Here’s an exclusive interview with Catherine Lamb…
Thank you for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about Bunny and your character?
Bunny is the story of Katie, a young girl struggling to find where she ‘fits’ into the world. In her own words she is the ‘unfit fitter’. We follow Katie through one extraordinary evening when her boyfriend is attacked on the street. Circumstances unravel beyond her control and she quickly finds herself on the wrong side of Luton. It is a funny yet challenging piece of theatre which explores the challenges of growing up in a world so full of hatred and divisions. It is really a story about fear, fear of not being interesting enough or attractive enough amongst your peers and fear of those in society who we don’t understand. Bunny explores the understanding that can be reached between people on different sides of the street using empathy and simple dialogue.
What was your initial impression of the script?
My initial impression was that it is a bold play with a corrosive humour. It is a brave piece of work which perfectly captures the youth in Britain today. It effortlessly captures the fears and desires of a young girl in a way I have not seen before. I first saw the play when I was 19 and I was bold over by it. I read it again and again. It was the first time I had been to the theatre and had that connection with a play. I just got it. I understood it and I saw myself and my friends in it.
Have you found it easy to translate from page to stage?
Bunny is a high energy and fast paced piece and has a very specific rhythm to it. This really informs you as an actor how to take on the piece and shows you what it is supposed to be like. The writing is so good that it does a lot of the work for you. Katie is such a relatable character and a real joy to play.
Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role?
Katie is not perfect. She is an infinitely flawed character, however, it is vital she is relatable and likeable. She is very funny and quick witted and hugely entertaining for an audience. She is bold and outrageous whilst at the same time painfully self-aware and self-deprecating. She is a complex character and a very real character. For me, the most important thing is that any young girl coming to the theatre will be able to see an aspect, however small, of themselves in her, just like I did when I first saw it.
How does the space lend itself to the piece?
The space is perfect for this type of show because it is so intimate as the piece itself is very intimate. The audience are invited into Katie’s internal monologue and stream of consciousness so it is very important for it to feel like a private and safe space which Katie shares with the audience.
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
I think this is a great opportunity to see some of Jack Thorne’s early work. He is now one of our most successful writers and seeing something from the beginning of his career is always fascinating. The thing about this show is that it can relate to everyone because we have all been young and everyone can remember the excruciating anguish of those teenage years when you are struggling to find your place in the world. The play also examines and challenges the divisions within our society and sadly this has never been more relevant or relatable as it is to us all today.
Thanks to Catherine for a great interview, break a leg!
Photo credit: Romana Patton