An Interview with Lucy Roslyn
Hello, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hello! I was born and raised in Coventry but have lived and worked in London for the past *coughs into sleeve* years.
When did you first feel the pull of the dramatic arts?
I had hoped I would work in theatre and film when I was small – I have always felt passionate about them although it took me a while to get the courage to go on stage. I also thought it would be a good way to make friends, which it is. The dramatic arts are full of opportunity – they are worth looking after.
What for you makes a good piece of theatre?
I feel the best theatre starts a conversation. It will ask so many questions and answer only a few, and the solution is not always so straightforward. Something dark and character driven. I remember seeing Misterman at the National a few years back, the psychology of the character and Cillian Murphy’s commitment to the role – it was striking.
What can you tell us about the BoonDog Theatre company?
BoonDog came together as an umbrella for a series we are creating all set within the same Circus – it’s like the Marvel Universe but in 1930’s Dustbowl America. We are very much looking forward to bringing new collaborators into the fold as we make more work.
What do you like to do when you’re not being theatrical?
I am also a freelance illustrator on the side, so I enjoy being a hermit who stays in hunched over my desk. It’s a nice balance against theatre which is very sociable and collaborative. It takes a team to bring a project together.
You will be bringing Goody to Edinburgh this August, can you tell us about the play?
It is a darkly funny look into the relationship between one man and his ape – two characters unable to communicate on an equal level. Backstage at the circus we meet Goody, a performing chimpanzee, and her one companion: her trainer Frances. How does this relationship work? An ape is dangerous and volatile. Even with an animal you have known for years, things can flip in a moment.
Creating Goody led you to visit ape sanctuaries and zoos to understand the relationship between humans and apes. How did this experience effect you personally?
Learning about performing apes and apes used for human demand has been as incredible as it has been heartbreaking. In many ways it has taught me more about people than apes, as it is people who dropped them into an incomprehensible situation from which there is no way out. I have been struck by the cruelty of some stories. Apes are impressive creatures, smart and emotional – seeing some of these apes in person is astonishing and we have had the good fortune to meet people who love and respect them, who make their lives fun and happier. However it is very bitter sweet to understand why they have ended up here at all, that they will never be wild and free again and, in some cases, that they have had to learn how to be a chimpanzee. Learn from scratch what you are, how to fit in, find yourself misunderstood – I feel many people could relate to these feelings.
How do audiences respond when it was performed?
The performance we have done so far won us the Greenwich Partnership Award, which we were blown away to receive. We were not sure what people would make of Goody, so this was a huge boost of confidence. We are looking forward to talking with our audiences in Edinburgh. We hope they will enjoy it.
In one sentence can you describe the experience of performing in Edinburgh in August
It’s like getting on a fairground Waltzer, but then staying on it for a month.
What will you be doing after the Fringe?
We’re looking forward to taking this show on to the next level and launching the next in the series. We had a reading of the next show, See The Elephant, at the start of the year, so we’ll be gearing up for that alongside Goody. One aim this year was to go all out, all guns blazing.
Goody will be playing at the Pleasance Courtyard (venue 33) : Aug 2-14, 16-28 (15.15)