An Interview with Niamh Watson
A Tarantino classic in less than an hour… for free! What kind of lady would do such a thing? The Mumble were delighted to find out
Hello Niamh, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Niamh: I was born and raised in Oxford, then spent three years living in Birmingham for university before moving to London, where I went to drama school, and have been living here ever since.
When did you first develop a passion for theatre?
Niamh: I remember getting my first stage thrill aged five and a half whilst playing The Old Israelite in my school’s production of ‘Exodus’ (yeah, that is the kind of play put on in primary schools in Oxford) performed in our dining room/gym. And it went on from there really.
Can you tell us about your training?
Niamh: After a drama degree at university I went on do an acting MA at Mountview, a drama school in London. It was a year long course consisting of very long days of intense, but brilliant training – and I loved every minute.
What for you makes a good piece of theatre?
Niamh: I try and see a real variety of theatre across all kinds of genres and in a range of spaces, so I appreciate pieces of theatre for many different reasons. But I think, ultimately, there are two things that resonate with me the the most. Simply a really interesting story is always a win, or pieces that explore human behaviour – in particular the complexities of human relationships.
What does Niamh Watson like to do when she’s not being, well, dramatic?
Niamh: I have a bit of a thing about novelty museums. The more obscure the better (Keswick’s pencil museum is a real good one if you’re wondering) and more generally, as a bit of an art nerd, I often try and distract myself from real life in galleries or museums. Or watching the latest Netflix series on bizarre cults. And you can’t go wrong with live music or a last minute cheap Ryanair flight to a place you’d never heard of.
You are bringing your solo show, Pulp Fiction: The One Woman Play, to this year’s Fringe; can you tell us about it?
Niamh: It’s me performing ‘Pulp Fiction’ on my own in an hour with only a briefcase onstage.
Where did the idea come from?
Niamh: It started back at drama school, when I was desperately trying to come up with a topic to write my MA dissertation on – and trust me, I went through everything! One night, however, I dreamt I staged a three-man performance of ‘The Godfather’. After waking up and believing this to be absolutely the best idea I’d had ever had I re-watched the film, and my dream was quickly shattered when I realised that this was almost near impossible, and I’d left it too late to rope in two actor mates. I did, however, settle on the topic of adaptation for my MA, and after some serendipity in the drama school library DVD collection I came across ‘Pulp Fiction’, which I’d not watched since the (probably inappropriate) age of about 11. On a second watch, my decision was made. There was a presentation element to the MA, so I presented my adaptation of the film.
Why Pulp Fiction, what is at about Tarentino’s classic that makes you tick?
Niamh: I mean, the guy is a genius. As I mentioned I love a good story and Tarantino, in my opinion, is a master at creating bizarre and complex stories. In ‘Pulp Fiction’ he presents multiple storylines in a clever, non-linear structure, which eventually all tie-in. I love his dark humour, and the incredible characters.
How deferential to the film are you?
Niamh: Well, for starters it’s just me up there. The film itself is around 3hrs, and my production is 50mins so there’s been a bit of editing. You’ll have to come along to see how it plays out.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show in an Edinburgh street…
Niamh: Fancy handguns, heroin and hamburgers? All before your lunch? Great. See you at Tolbooth Market. Oh, did I mention it’s free?
Pulp Fiction: The One Woman Play
August 14-25 (13.00)