Entertainment Views Interview: Kate Terence ~ Star of ‘The Sword of Alex’

In the clash between the political and the personal, The Sword of Alex by award-winning playwright Rib Davis examines how identity fares in the struggle, coming to the White Bear Theatre in Autumn 2018, starring Kate Terence, Georgia Winters, Patrick Regis and DK Ugonna.
You’d never defeat me in politics, not in the politics of left and right. But it’s a hell of a lot easier to get people to fight over identity than it is over ideas. Isn’t that right?
A country on the verge of civil war as a region attempts to break away from the state. Two versions of nationalism clash head-on. Two leaders and their nations pitted against each other. Each must destroy the others’ version of history. But families are no less tribal than nations. As the great games are played out at a national level, so too are domestic power struggles. This is a play that brings together national destiny, gender politics and the very ideas of identity and belonging.
Come back in ten years. Or twenty. Or when you’re dead. That’s always a good time to be forgiven. I think it’s called a pardon.

Rib Davis began his writing career in documentary theatre at The Living Archive Project. He has now worked in oral history-based theatre for over 30 years. He has worked extensively in radio (his many plays include Corridor and A Few Kind Words, and series include Unwritten Law) as well writing for television (including for The Bill). His non-documentary stage play No Further Cause for Concern, about a prison riot, won an Edinburgh Fringe First award before he went on to adapt it for television. His best-selling book Writing Dialogue for Scripts is now in its 4th edition. Rib Davis is currently holder of the Goodison Fellowship at the British Library.
Kate Terence has performed with the RSC and the Globe, and appeared on screens in Bad Girls and The Kindness of Strangers. Georgia Winters is a member of the Actors Ensemble theatre company and appeared in the film Jupiter Ascending. Patrick Regis received the Best Newcomer Award at the Screen Nations Awards, and has since appeared in Hard Sun for the BBC, and will be appearing in the second season of Snatch. DK Ugonna originated the role Vartan Sarafian in a new play Paradise Road (Tales Retold) at the Sheffield Library Theatre this year, played Othello (Lights of London) at the Moor’s Bar Theatre in Crouch End in 2017.
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One of the stars of ‘The Sword Of Alex’, Kate Terence, chatted to Entertainment Views about the production and threw in some tips for budding actors too! 
Thanks for talking to Entertainment Views, Kate. Tell me about the production and your character. 
The production is one of the more exciting challenges that I have taken on in a long time.  I am among a cast of four; they are all excellent actors, so the bar has been raised for me.  My character, Calantha has all the qualities of a strong but complex female character, so I am enjoying the challenge of trying to reach all aspects of her in rehearsal.
What was your initial impression of the script?
My initial impression of the script was it’s immediacy and it’s relevance to our current world.  It has a classical, timeless quality to it, but if you were to equate it with music, it is more like extremely precisely written jazz structured in a classical form.  I wanted to be part of it straight away.
What are the challenges of the piece?
The challenges are in the fact that there is the macro-view of the characters but there is also the micro view of their personal worlds, so making that have a flow that serves the play to its best is a stimulating challenge.  And there are plenty of lines to learn, but I’m not complaining!
How do you feel the space will lend itself to the production? 
The space is very intimate so the audience will receive it very clearly.  There is no room for error, which can be exposing to an actor, but is also massively exciting.  They will see something that they may well recognise and have a chance to reflect upon it more instantly.
What do you hope the reactions from the audience will be? 
I hope they are stimulated and provoked by it, that they come out at the end and find themselves talking about it’s content, relating it to their lives and the world’s politics.
Why should everybody buy a ticket to come and see it?
It is not often that a brilliantly written play comes out, with four excellent actors and a superb director.  That is why it is worth buying a ticket.
Finally, any advice for budding actors and what’s your preferred medium, stage or screen?
Advice for budding actors: stick at it, persist, develop the skin of a rhinoceros but maintain the soul of a baby.  Be choosy in what you do and challenge yourself: if you are scared of it, it’s often a reason to do it.  Always believe in yourself, but have the humility to believe you can also improve and become even better.
In terms of preferences, I love both the stage and screen.  They are two completely different mediums and over the years I’ve discovered that I enjoy both equally for differing reasons.
Thanks to Kate for an insightful interview. Book tickets to see ‘The Sword of Alex’ here: https://www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk/WhatsOn/The-Sword-of-Alex/book?p=1359
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