Spotlight On… Cast & Creatives of Misprint Theatre’s ‘Flashback’

Misprint Theatre presents ‘Flashback’ at Theatre Utopia, there’s just one chance left to see this show and the link is below, so book now to avoid disappointment!

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Kara Chamberlain (actor)  and Amy Toledano (actor and co-director) chatted to Break A Leg about the show:

Here’s Kara and what she had to say about the show…

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about the piece and your character(s)

As an ensemble piece, we all play the voice of the narrator as well as some of the people who play cameo’s in Man’s life. I play his sister, as well as one of the women he dates and another woman who he meets at a club.

What was your initial impression of the script?

This is an incredibly important piece of theatre because it explores a very stigmatised issue: men’s mental health. There are already a lot of negative ideas and stereotypes surrounding mental health, but in a culture where men are told to “man up” and “stop being a girl” their mental health struggles are more often silenced. Flashback explores key issues impacting society today – social media, phone use, the pace of life, pressure to succeed, constantly comparing ourselves to our friends online – and shows audiences how devastatingly addictive these things can become. Through Man’s story we see an average millennial grow up in a world where he is not taught how to handle success, failure, emotion, or isolation and is eventually lead to suicide. The play reminds us that all humans feel emotion, all of us can be depressed at times in our lives, and men need to be able to express their feelings and ask for help without judgement.

Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role(s)?

I am thrilled to be part of the ensemble creating this piece. I came into the project a bit late, and aim to add my energy and support to the beautiful work going on in the show.

How does the space lend itself to the piece?

Theatre Utopia is a unique venue, in that it has a stage that makes it feel like a traditional theatre but it can be transformed. For this piece, audience are placed around three sides of the room and the action takes place in the entire space. It means that the audience is never far from the action, they are brought in as bystanders instead of distanced by a stage and a curtain.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

This play is for anyone who has a Facebook account, an Instagram feed, or a smart phone. It is for anyone who has felt down or hopeless or isolated, even for a second. It is for men and women who believe that everyone has the right to health and the help that requires.

Here’s what Amy had to say from her perspective as an actor in the show…

Tell me about the piece and your character(s)

It is quite a unique piece that focuses on the life of one particular man and the events in his life that lead up to his tragic death. I play the character of “Woman” who is this man’s first and most intense love. She provides the hope, the positive energy and love that keeps this character going. She is a very confident and warm woman who loves deeply and who we see give everything to this man.

What was your initial impression of the script?

When we had our first read of this script the main thing that I was taken with was the style. It is quite poetic and I loved the fact that all the actors were on stage the entire time. I also loved the idea that all the male actors in the company.

Was it easy to translate from page to stage?

I found that with the script- the vision was there from the beginning. The way its written lends itself to really interesting staging and physical theatre which has been amazing! The transition was very very smooth.

Did you have any ideas about what you wanted to bring to the role(s)?

I was immediately drawn to the role- I knew that her and I were quite similar and had been through similar experiences I really wanted to keep that authenticity in her. The main thing for me was playing her very honestly and showing the audience how much this man depended on her.

How does the space lend itself to the piece?

We are very lucky to have a fantastic space to work in. We’ve set up the space in traverse so we get quite close to the audience but also are able to distance ourselves as well which is really brilliant and is quite representative of the piece.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

I would say that if people are interested in seeing new writing with a new type of format then this is for them. Its definitely something different to what happening in theatre at the moment and people will be able to relate to a lot of the characters as our main goal is represent the everyman and his struggles. You will come out having laughed and cried which is exactly what a piece of theatre should do!

Here’s Amy and what she had to say about the show in her capacity as co-director…

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, tell me about the piece and your vision for it

I am very lucky getting to work with Jamal (Chong) on this. He’s written something really fresh and I immediately had huge vision for it. I knew I wanted some very movement heavy moments and some very still moments and I had very clear vision for the different stages of this man’s life.

Did you have initial ideas about casting and what you wanted actors to bring to the piece?

We are blessed in that we are a company that have worked together for a little while now, so most parts cast themselves. In terms of the female roles we knew we wanted it to be diverse and the women to lend themselves to many different kinds of characters and we are incredible blessed to have the brilliant actors we do working with us on this.

Have rehearsals altered your initial thoughts, at all?

Definitely. Its so wonderful to work with such open and collaborative actors. Everyone has been so open to trying new things, and being very brave and particular in their choices.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

That this show is something everyone can identify with, it is fresh and interesting and you will definitely come out having felt something.

Finally, any advice for budding directors?

I am quite a green director myself but this has been a brilliant experience for me in listening and looking at the bigger picture instead of just focusing on one particular character. I think the best advice is to just do it. Find new writing and shadow experienced directors and listen listen listen above all!

Thanks to both ladies for their time and I hope the run has been going brilliantly!

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