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WOS Theatregoers Enjoy Q&A with Maiden Cast & Director

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Last night (2 November 2011) saw 75 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers descend on the newly-named Harold Pinter Theatre to see Thandie Newton's stage debut in Jeremy Herrin's revival of Ariel Dorfman's political thriller Death and the Maiden.

Afterwards we were joined by the full cast of Newton, Tom Goodman-Hill and Anthony Calf as well as director Herrin, for an in-depth Q&A covering the many difficult issues, including torture, rape and retribution, that the play examines.

Thandie Newton plays former political prisoner Paulina Salas in Dorfman’s account of confession and revenge set against the backdrop of a new democracy, emerging from a long period of dictatorship. Although she has never seen the face of her captor, she recalls his voice and mannerisms with terrifying clarity. Years later, and as if by fate, she acts as judge and jury to a man she believes to have been her oppressor.

Tom Goodman-Hill, Thandie Newton, Anthony Calf & Jeremy Herrin (photo: Peter Gibbons)

Afterwards, the cast discussed their rehearsal room motivations for the famously ambiguous characters, while Herrin revealed why he feels the play, which was first seen at the Royal Court in 1991, has "never been more relevant".

Questions from the audience probed further the issues of responsibility and retribution the play throws up, and the cast revealed they are constantly evolving the piece through the run (among the more notable changes is that an interval has been added since it opened earlier this month).

Many thanks again to the Thandie, Tom, Anthony and Jeremy, and to the many of you who stayed for the Q&A. As always, please feel free to email your comments and thoughts about the play, as well as any of your favourite insights and pictures from last night to [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

Theo Bosanquet
Deputy Editor

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