Brief encounter with... Maggie Gordon-WalkerDate: 4 May 2012
Tell me about your new show, Cheer Up, It Might Never Happen.
It’s a one-hour comedy about a woman trying to commit suicide.
That’s not an obvious subject for comedy, is it?
There’s a lot of humour in dark subjects. In this case, the thinking behind the piece is more that, if you were a rather responsible, worried, sort of person, there might be a lot of practical details you’d have to deal with before you tried to kill yourself. It’s not so easy just to step out of your own life. In a way, suicide isn’t exactly the subject of the comedy, it’s more about trying to do something intensely private when the world doesn’t allow you to be private any more.
Is that a character you relate to?
Well, I’m not suicidal, but I think everyone can relate to the idea of wanting to get things done, and finding that you’ve got so much on your plate there’s no time for what you really want to do. You’re not allowed to be out of contact these days – there’s always a phone call or an email waiting to be answered. With some people that might be positive, it could remind you of the good things, but if you’re very low then it can just seem like an invasion.
Are you nervous about being the only person on stage for an hour?
Yes, of course I am! No upstaging or gurning permissible, or even possible, but maybe it’s not as frightening for me as it is for Pradeep Jey, the Director. He’s been in control during rehearsals, but when we get to the performance he’ll have to put up with whatever I do. The loneliness is integral to the piece, because it’s about one woman facing her future, or lack of future, on her own, so it really has to be a one-woman show.
How did you and writer, Sophia Kingshill, get together on this show?
I’ve worked with Sophia on several things before, mainly sketch shows when she made me wear ridiculous costumes. She’s an amazingly versatile writer, very funny but also very sincere, and I am thrilled that she has created a piece that is so much more demanding and more profound.
Cheer Up, It Might Never Happen will be performed at the Nightingale Theatre on 6- 8 May at 7pm