27 July 2011 (released)
27 July 2011
Eva Gray and Christian Devellerez currently can be seen at Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, in Robert Calvert’s futuristic fantasy ‘Mirror Mirror’.
Interview with Eva Gray (www.evagray.com)
Eva, what attracted you to the play?
Léonie (the director) asked me to play the part of Eleanor Bryant in 'Mirror Mirror' three years ago. At that time I wasn't available but went along to see the production she did with another actress. I regretted not being able to do it as I really felt it was a charming and unusual piece. I liked the retro-futurism of the play and felt the part was a suitable vehicle for me in terms of casting type, so I was delighted when she offered it to me again.
Were you familiar with any of Robert Calvert’s writing before?
To be honest the only thing I previously knew about Robert Calvert was the song from Hawkwind 'Silver Machine' which I had heard often played on the radio and found it to be a catchy tune. Léonie put 'Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice' on with 'Mirror Mirror' before, so I'd seen that too before I started working on the play.
How did you prepare for the role?
There wasn't much rehearsal time so I had to work really hard to get the lines in my head as quickly as possible. I recorded them and played them to myself over and over while looking at myself in the mirror or imagining looking at myself in the mirror, trying to get deeper into the character and her preoccupation with her looks and how others see her.
Do you think the play has a timeless quality to it?
As the play is a fantasy it does have a timeless quality, although this production very much represents a late 70s idea of what the future would be like. I also feel that there are elements of the play which are relevant to today's society and the preoccupation with technology, the internet, social networks and concern for how we are perceived by others, for example self-Googling, Facebook pages and the like.
How do you see the part of Eleanor?
I see Eleanor as a desperate housewife, longing for acceptance and a sense of identity. She is not as young as she was and having always relied on her looks and her feminine charm, has reached a crisis point in her life. When the reflection doesn't show her in such a flattering light she seeks approval from the Mirror Technician and longs for comfort from him and the drugs she is taking help to ease her pain.
Interview with Christian Devellerez
Do you know any of Robert Calvert's artistic background?
Growing up in Australia I had never really heard of Robert Calvert's work. But I feel like I am an 'expert' now thanks to Leonie.
What's the on-stage chemistry like between you and your co-star Eva, especially during rehearsals?
It's been an absolute pleasure working with Eva. I've never worked with such an organised actress. It's made me feel very safe, which is good because it has made the playing of the awkwardness between us on stage so much easier.
How much creative input (if any) did you have as far as your outfit and facial make-up goes?
The make up was my idea. I wanted to show the stereotypical perception of the 70's idea of the future. With a tag line like 'nostalgia for the future' I thought that white silver and glitter plays perfectly to that.
How do you see the part of the 'mirror technician'?
Being a clone I think he provides the complete opposite function to Eva's character. Her character is in search of perfection, while he wants to be different. He yearns to have his own thoughts, feelings and imperfections of his own.
Many thanks to both of you and best wishes for future productions.
(Please also read my separate review for ‘Mirror Mirror’)