Natisha Williams-Samuels stars as Mabel Stark in Tiger Lady, a powerful vehicle to amplify under-represented voices.
Mabel Stark, the queen of the circus in the time of the greatest show on Earth, was one of the first ever female tiger tamers, and the only woman to step into the ring with seven tigers.
From award-winning theatre company Dead Rabbits (The Dragon, My Love Lies Frozen in the Ice) comes a show combining fast-paced, innovative physical theatre with a moving love tale of two humans and a tiger.
Tiger Lady is about being different and the tragedy that comes when a person has a displaced notion of being happy. Although a story from the beginning of the 20th century, this tragic production reminds us to look at our lives and our desires more closely.
Tiger Lady, starring Natisha Williams-Samuels is at Pleasance Courtyard Wednesday 3rd – Monday 29th August 2022 (not 17th, 22nd) at 13:05
You’re starring in Tiger Lady at Pleasance Courtyard, what can you tell us about the show?
It’s fun, energetic and full of surprises! There’s loads of music and things you didn’t think were possible made possible, it’s one to watch. You’ll definitely enjoy it.
What was it about Dead Rabbits Theatre Company’s work that appealed to you the most?
I would say the playfulness and how you’re allowed to be unapologetically yourself. Whether you’ve been in the industry for years or for a short amount of time, everyone helps each other out with no judgment.
You’re playing Big Cat Tamer Mabel Stark, how much research did you have to do and what intrigued you most about the character?
I had to do a lot of research, the first thing I started with was the accent because I wanted to feel like I was really stepping into her shoes. I also listened to the Audiobook of her story which was amazing and gave me a great feel for the character, but I wanted to put my own spin on things so I added my fierceness to the character.
I love the fact that Mabel lives in a predominantly male dominated world yet she’s one of the strongest people. I mean who else would dare to train with Tigers?
Tell us a little about the rest of the cast and what you’re looking forward to about working with them?
We all have different qualities that we bring which makes us a fantastic ensemble. Chloe is such a bubble of positive energy who’s always smiling and supportive. Eddie is the loudest but the softest, he’s so kind and musically talented.
Yomi is the funniest person ever, who is always willing to say yes. Antonio is the one who is full of great ideas and also looks the most serious but is in fact the opposite.
Then you have James who has been doing this the longest – he too is always giving the best ideas and has an amazing voice! I’m looking forward to getting back together as an ensemble and playing, being playful and enjoying what you’re doing makes it more enjoyable for the audience to watch.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge for you as a performer in this role?
To remember all my lines, because there’s so many. I want to be fluent to the point where I can say them without having to think about it. I want to be able to recite them in my sleep!!
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see Tiger Lady?
Don’t think about it, do it! You don’t want to miss it, and I can promise you. You will not leave the show without smiling. Come, have fun and meet our Tigers!