May, 2017 - Niamh Huggard speaks about her role and preparations for And Go to Innisfree which will be performed in Bourglinster and is the official entry for NWTC at FEATS 2017.
WHAT HAS INTERESTED YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER IN THIS PLAY?
Not having been involved in theatre for quite some time I was delighted when Christine cast me in the role of Old Anna. It is an enjoyable challenge playing a character 20 years older than yourself and exploring body movement and the mind of someone on the verge of dementia. For this reason and the fact that it is a wonderfully astute portrayal of a woman on the verge of losing control of herself, I was interested in the role. I watched an aunt of mine slowly develop dementia and like the character of Anna she relived wonderful happy childhood memories, interspersed with fear and sadness and decreasing periods of reality. She was much loved by us all and well taken care of until she passed away at the age of 95. The play, albeit short, is very well written and the character is beautifully drawn.
HAVE YOU ENJOYED EXPLORING THIS ROLE?
Very much! The fact that there are so many facets to Anna's character and that her thoughts are magnified by the presence of her as a middle aged and also a young Anna. With Anna being represented by three characters (albeit the younger ones are in her head) at three different stages in her life it has been a wonderful help in exploring old Anna and where she has come from and how she has been affected by her experiences. There is so much sadness in this role when one delves into the character. One example is and I quote: "The bedrooms are empty now and the kitchen is quiet, the children come less often. They have so much to do...." This is a problem today, as was recently highlighted in UK newspapers and news broadcasts. Old people left alone because family are too busy to take time to visit. How sad!! There is also a gaiety to Anna and in her muddled state her fantasies are quite quirky. As a team we all work well together with Christine at the helm.
IF YOU WERE TO SUM UP THE PLAY IN ONE WORD WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would best use two and that would be "Thought-provoking" but if I must use one then I will say "powerful"