Q: Could you relate to your character? I was very fortunate to have been in the audience of the first reading of “Powerfully Fragile” months before I had any notion I would be involved as an actress. I remember being moved by the honesty of the piece, the words reverberated within me and stayed with me. This surprised me as up until that time I had never had any connection to Breast Cancer – no friends, no family members have had the disease and I have always had good health. Yet, this play touched me because the words came from a place of truth, through Briohne and her family and friends “lived” experience of cancer.
When I was cast as “One” I was excited to play such a complex character but also scared. How could I bring truth to the writer’s words? Then I talked to Briohne as she share some of her experiences, and I started to think in terms of what is important to me:- my family, my friends, my work, my independence. What would it mean if they were threatened – threatened by Cancer? I also started to think about my mum and her fight with chronic disease, in her case it was chronic heart failure, and her death at 60, and I could see her life’s journey reflected in “Ones” journey.
Q: What Challenges did the project bring to you? I felt a great responsibility to “getting this right” of being authentic to the truth of Briohne’s text. This play connects with so many people and reflects the realities of their lives. As I performed I could hear people crying in the audience – that was very powerful and confronting. Touring with the play “One” stayed with me, for months, even off stage. She made me contemplate my own life. This wasn’t always easy but on reflection I am so grateful. If you have the opportunity to play “One” grab it with both hands.
Q: What advice would you give to someone to play this role? Don’t be overwhelmed by the subject matter – find the quirky funny elements of “One”. She is physically fighting against cancer but she is also fighting to still be herself – to retain her wonderfully unique spirit.