Q&A with Jolly Abraham – Speed The Plow

Q&A with Jolly Abraham – Speed The Plow

We had the chance to put some questions to Jolly Abraham ahead of the opening of the Verdant Production of Speed The Plow. We asked her about gender-swapping productions and her role in the play. You can see the results below.

Verdant Productions Present Speed The Plow by David Mamet

Civic Theatre, Tallaght 6th – 8th April
Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire 13th – 15th April
Ramor Theatre, Cavan  26th April
Droichead Arts Centre 27th April

The gender of all the roles in this production has been switched. What do you think this will bring to the production? 

I think it brings another layer of the difficulty of making anything in Hollywood. But particularly being women in this very male-dominated industry. To be heard, listened to, given credit etc adds extra umph as I see it. Also in the moments of intimacy between the producers, we hope to find some honest vulnerability with each other, with the idea that even in this hard-nosed industry, as women, maybe there is a permission we give each other to be vulnerable.

Is anything else changing other than the gender of the characters? 

No. We had to get permission to change pronouns etc. So nothing else is to change.

Can you tell me a little about your role (Charlie Fox) in the play? 

She is a true go-getter, scrappy I guess you could say. She’s the type of person who is always thinking of the next project, has a few things going because she has more ambition than she’s had success and it’s s great disappointment to her that she’s not further in her career. I think she loves what she does but has been overlooked and that has caused some resentment. But she sees Bobby as her mentor and friend, and is grateful to her for being there with her through a lot of the crap that comes with the territory.

While many will be familiar with this play, there are also many audience members who will have never seen the play before. Is this a good production to see the play for the first time?

Well, you’ll have to answer that! I mean when it comes down to it, it’s just people talking, fighting for what they believe in….so regardless of gender I think that’s just human.

You may have heard of the recent case in the Netherlands involving Waiting for Godot, where the production was cancelled as the director only allowed men to audition. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Beckett’s choice to refuse to allow the production to be played by people of other genders?

This was unfortunate to read. The theatre company was following what they were legally bound to do in order to get the rights to do the play.  First, for whatever reason Beckett sees this play with only men, It’s his play so it’s his right.  I think leaving out any opportunity for female voices as AN interpretation of his play is a loss and unimaginative, but his right. The University has its OWN obligations but I’d hope they could have seen where the theatre company were limited as far as the choice of casting that they tried to bolster the diversity around the production to counter this.  Of course, I have no real stake or insight into this specific event so just initial thoughts from a short article I read.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline you’d like to tell us about? 

I’m going to finish shooting an episode on Series 2 of “Harry Wild”…and I had a small part on SisterS which just released on RTE. And it is a little gem of a show…one of the co-creators and stars is also one of the leads from HBO’s “Barry.”

Verdant Productions Present Speed The Plow
by David Mamet

Directed by Andy Crook
Starring – Jolly Abraham, Tara Egan Langley, Macleod Stephen

Civic Theatre, Tallaght 6th – 8th April
Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire 13th – 15th April
Ramor Theatre, Cavan  26th April
Droichead Arts Centre 27th April

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