Spotlight On… Creatives from Full Circle

Full Circle runs at Theatre N16, book tickets here: Theatre N16

Black Sheep Productions presents:
May 9th – 11th and 21st – 24th, Theatre N16

After a critically acclaimed run at the Arts Theatre in 2015, Madelaine Cunningham’s Full Circle plays London again at Theatre N16 this May, which she first performed in her native South Africa.

Director, Madison Maylin and Writer, Madelaine Cunningham chatted to Break A Leg about the production…

Interview with Director, Madison Maylin

Tell me about the piece and your vision for it

It’s a bold new play which takes inspiration from classical literature, some of the most infamous archetypes, and brings them right up to the present day. My ultimate aim is to bring out the pertinent humanity of these women – they faced the same issues modern-day women still encounter: gender discrimination, unreasonable beauty goals, the pay gap, being overshadowed by men, adultery and temptation, desperate loneliness, rape and murder. 

Did you have initial ideas about casting and what you wanted actors to bring to the piece?

I only ever want absolute trust from any actor – trust in themselves, their cast members, their production team, me and my processes. We can tackle anything if we have that.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

Changed minds. I don’t want to spoil the play, so I’ll leave it at that!

Have rehearsals altered your initial thoughts, at all?

Yes, things are fluid in my rehearsal space. My mantra is: nothing is set in stone – keep discovering. Every rehearsal is different – and with any luck so will every performance!

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

If you want to see truth on-stage then come.

Finally, any advice for budding directors?

Go to classes for yourself, learn new ice-breakers, attend workshops, learn new exercises and processes, always work with different producers / actors / writers, read Katie Mitchell’s book on directing.

Interview with Writer and actor, Madelaine Cunningham

Tell me about the piece and your inspiration for it

I studied Classics and I was always fascinated by the tragedies and how truthful they were amid the heightened nature of it all, these big stories have such clear human truths. But what also draws me to incorporating the Greeks into my work and re-exploring them, are questions like: Why are we still talking about this thousands of years later? Why are these issues still relevant now? Are we as a society constantly turning full circle?

Was it easy to put it all down on paper?

Full Circle was originally going to be an installation type piece and I decided to make it into a play, so I had an idea and it all sort of just poured out onto my my keyboard.

Is it translating well from page to stage? 

I believe so, when you work with such a dedicated team- a director who honours your work and talented actors who are crazy talented risk takers, what more could I writer ask for?

How is the space lending itself to the piece?

Theatre N16 is a brilliant theatre and the intimacy of it lends itself to the closeness and claustrophobia that permeates the play.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

I only ever want people to have been provoked in some way by my work, be it love or hate. Aside from that i think it would be great if audience members wanted to find out more about these women, be it picking up a copy of The Orestia or googling Phaedra.

Finally, any advice for budding writers?

Write it all down, and write what matters to you.

Thank you so much to everybody for such fantastic answers, it’s been a pleasure to feature you on Break A Leg and I wish you all the best for the run.


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