Emily O’Mahony makes her PLOS debut this week as Marianne in Nick Payne’s award-winning play, Constellations. We caught up with her on the eve of opening night at the Landor Theatre:
Q: What’s in like being involved in a production where there are only two actors?
It’s brilliant! Albeit very different. I’ve done short pieces or extracts before with just two actors but in something like this you are utterly reliant on each other to deliver and understand the characters and their stories – I think it makes for a fantastic bond and chemistry, I’ve been so lucky to have Alex to go through the journey with me! You have to establish so much trust and belief in each other and our Director Alex made sure we were able to do this with ease from the off. From there, the world is your oyster character wise!
Q: How does it compare to being in a show with a larger cast?
It’s really very different – I love the camaraderie of bigger shows and the energy it brings, but for me, the draw to this show is the intimacy. Everything about it is concentrated, live and heightened. You have the opportunity to delve deeper, play with the person you’re inhabiting and develop a deep understanding of the writing which is thrilling. We’ve become a close knit team, Alex’s directorial approach really fostered this and allowed us to push the boundaries in a completely non-judgmental way, a real treat for actors!
Q: What’s been the aspect you’ve enjoyed most about the production process?
There’s so much about this whole process that I have loved to be honest! I think it has to be the week-on-week build of the characters and the flow of the story. I started out intrigued as to where we might take it and then it just seemed to take on a life of its own. I’ve fallen more for Marianne and Roland a little bit each week!
Q: Tell us more about your character, Marianne.
Marianne fascinated me when I very first came across Constellations. She is incredibly intelligent (a theoretical physicist no less) and is able to view the world with an incredible objectivity that many of us would struggle to achieve!
She is grounded in logic, the facts of the world and dealing with life as it is, not how we’d like it to be. In many ways she has mastered the art of being present. She doesn’t do fate, she doesn’t do sentimentality. And yet she is so warm! She’s funny, perhaps without meaning to be-a direct result of her logic I believe, but carries this real vulnerability that I think we can all relate to. For all her assessment of the world, she carries a great desire to love and be loved, however hurt she has been previously. She’s flawed and real, just like Roland, both quite ordinary and yet no matter how many universes we see, they are each other’s constant. That for me is the clincher!
Q: How do you think audiences are going to react?
I think they will enjoy it and even feel a little challenged? The writing is clever yet simple and beautiful, just very real. I hope they will go on the journey with Marianne and Roland, from the moment they meet; but more than anything, I hope they find a little piece of Marianne and Roland that they can relate to and love them as much as we have.
Q: What one word best sums up the show?
- Constellations plays at the Landor Space, Landor Road, Clapham SW9, from Tuesday 27 February – Saturday 3 March. For tickets, CLICK HERE.