Role/what your job is:
I play the role of Sylvia – “I’m expected tae be the strong ain. I’m expected tae be the one who gets everythin done.”
What first excited you about Netting?
I knew nothing of the Fishing Industry before this project – I have learned so much about that world, the North East and the experiences of the people and life at sea for those lost and their families. I feel a strong pull and sense of loyalty to these families – we have the opportunity through “Netting” to highlight a very true situation for many people.
I think “Netting” captures three very different women coping in a devastating situation. The drama in the domesticity is real – I think anyone who has ever experienced a family dynamic and the politics that exist/ change within a heartbeat when faced with a life changing event – will relate to this.
The major challenge of the production?
For me personally – my biggest challenge has been swapping roles and speaking Doric! In the original production I played the role of Alison and in this version I am Sylvia. As an actress, I’ve never had that experience before – of getting under the skin of a character and then returning to a project at a later date and becoming a different character. I’ve really enjoyed the process and it has kept things fresh for me creatively. Learning and speaking Doric has been brilliant! I’m originally from Carluke in Lanarkshire, then moved down to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire at the age of eight only returning to Scotland when I was thirty. Initially I wasn’t sure how Doric should be placed – Morna and Joyce Falconer (who was in the original show as Sylvia) and Carol Ann, who is also Voice/Accent Coach, have all chipped in and kept me right! It really helps that Morna has written the script phonetically which shows me what the words should sound like. One of the most challenging sentences:
“I ayeways mind when Dan got hame. He’d chase me and Jim roon for a bosie and we’d be runnin, skirlin cos he was reekin. Mind that?”
After the shows when we’ve been chatting to people I’ve had a few thinking that I’m from The North East – I’ve been so delighted I wanted to kiss them but controlled my response appropriately!
As well as my personal journey within the show, I think the challenge of the piece is to create the right level of grief/ silence/ laughter/ drunkenness/ tension/ time passing/ control among a million other things. It should feel like you are sitting in Kitty’s living room with us – that means experiencing the tick tock silence & the laughter with us.
What you are most pleased with/excited about/happy about achieving?
I believe taking the show to rural venues and coastal communities is very special. We have had such a positive response from people who may not have gone to the theatre – or people who want more sharing of stories within their communities. I believe this is a universal story of grief/ loss and coping in the most difficult of circumstances and how people get through that somehow. For me it’s a huge achievement when widows have said to me – “that is exactly what it’s like” – we are doing something right & allowing these issues to be talked about.
What else am I excited about? I hope this is the beginning of this particular story. Well done to Morna Young/ Allie Butler and Woodend Barn for making this happen – a sterling effort by a great production team. Thank you xxx
Thank you, Sarah!