An Interview with B’Witches
Somewhere in the realms where entertainment meets expertise reigns BBC Radio’s Russell Clarke
Hello Pili, you are a young Argentinian living in London – where, when & why did you cross the Atlantic?
Pili: So, last year during my summer holidays, I decided to come to London for a month to take a screen acting course and I loved the multi-cultural vibe here so much that I decided to stay longer. Then those few months turned into 6 months! Then after 6 months of acting classes, I decided to audition for Drama Studio London, got my Visa sorted and here I am. It’s definitely a challenge to study and act in a different language but I love the challenge.
Hello Eden, you’ve shot 18 short films since leaving drama school 4 years ago. Do you have a preference between stage and screen?
Eden: I can’t choose! I like to have my cake and eat it so I do a bit of both. I hadn’t done any theatre for a while so when I stumbled on this, it was perfect timing and I couldn’t refuse a part like this – playing a girl for a month!
Hello Jack, away from the stage you are a martial arts expert, can you tell us more?
Jack: Yeah, I grew up training a tradition Korean art which I started when I was 5. And when I was 18, I competed for Team GB at the World Championships and won 3 gold medals. Since then I’ve taken the performance aspect of competing and thrown it into my acting and stage work.
Hello Hannah, can you tell us about your training?
Hannah: Yes! So, I moved from Manchester two years ago (I think) and went to Rose Bruford to do a foundation in acting and I’ve not gone back since. Since then I’ve been living in London. I did a couple of months at Identity school of acting where I got to do a really fun showcase with Ian McFarlane before I got into DSL! It’s been the best and I’ve made some friends for life.
In a world where you can get entertainment ‘on demand’, what makes theatre special?
Jack: The live human interaction and energy in the room of live theatre is unmatchable in performance. You can capture that energy on camera sometimes but you will capture it all the time if you’re in the room, I think.
When did you first develop a passion for theatre?
Pili: I always loved movies and theatre. When I finished high school, I studied drama at Uni. I also was lucky enough to go to the theatre with my dad from a young age and he really pushed me to achieve my dreams.
How did you find working with Igor Zolotovitsky?
Jack: Working with the Moscow Arts Theatre was a dream come true. We are so grateful to ETEFI. We got the wackiest week imaginable and got to experience loads of different ways of accessing the work including Butoh dancing! And meet like-minded creatives from Europe and Russia.
You are studying together at Drama Studio London, what’s the institution like?
Hannah: Drama Studio is like a home away from home. It’s like a big old family. It’s got a focused feel in the training but you feel supported and looked after by our tutors and directors. Shoutout to Kit Thacker for helping us believe it can happen!
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
Hannah: I like to take a minute by myself after walking around the space, to ground myself and breathe deep. Then I would probably just pray to theatre Gods I don’t fuck it up.
Have you ever done any immersive theatre before? How are you going to prepare for unexpected audience responses?
Eden: I don’t think you can ever second guess an audience but as long as we’re having fun, they’re having fun and we as a cast are all on our toes the whole time, I’m looking forward to the unexpected challenges chucked our way. Bring it on!
You’re performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe; what are you bringing to the table?
Jack: We are bringing a silly comedy that is put together by friends. It’s created a performance that brings across everybody having a good time; so, the audience gets to join in on the good time, especially with the immersive experience we’re bringing.
Do you guys socialize much outside your formal drama duties?
Pili: Well Eden is pretty new to the group but Hannah, Jack and myself basically live in each other’s pockets most of the time. We’re almost telepathic with each other.
You’re playing Camilla after she’s been turned into a boy. Is it fun playing a woman?
Eden: So much fun! My favourite bit is when Camilla discovers she has a penis! We went charity shop hunting for my costumes and scared off a few of their customers with our in-shop catwalk display.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the play to somebody in the streets of Edinburgh, what would you say?
Hannah: Hey guys! Do you like drinks, immersive theatre, comedy and magic? We have your seats warmed up for you upstairs. Our play is about three witches trying against all odds trying not to turn to stone. Sounds fun, right? That’s because it is, we can’t wait to see you there!