Carol Royle plays Vee Talbott in Theatr Clwyd and Menier Chocolate Factory co-production of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending, directed by Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director, Tamara Harvey. Orpheus Descending began its life as Battle of Angels in 1940, and was first performed on Broadway in 1957. In 1959, Sidney Lumet directed the film adaptation, The Fugitive Kind, starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani.
Orpheus Descending is at Theatr Clwyd 15th – 27th April and Menier Chocolate Factory 9th May – 6th July 2019.
You’re appearing in Orpheus Descending, what can you tell us about it?
Orpheus Descending is a work by Tennessee Williams which he took many years to perfect to his satisfaction. He was inspired to write it based on the Greek Myth Orpheus and Eurydice.
How would you describe Vee Talbott, your character?
Vee Talbot is a sensitive woman trying to make a better place of a small, small-minded town and culture, peculiar to its time in history.
How has director, Tamara Harvey helped you develop the character?
Tamara Harvey, our director, helps actors find and develop their characters by means of looking through, above and in between the lines. Working on scripts by writers no longer with us is always like being a mixture of a psychologist, a detective with imagination, and a psychic.
What do you think it is about Tennessee Williams’ writing that makes it so enduring?
I think Tennessee Williams’ work is so enduring because it delves into the very heart and soul of his characters, their strengths and weaknesses laid completely bare, which we can all relate to, and, although he writes in prose, his words are actually poetry.
What are you looking forward to most about performing in Wales and London?
I have worked many times at Theatre Clwyd, so am looking forward very much to being in this wonderful theatre again, this time with a Tennessee Williams, which is, of course, bliss to play.
It is, of course, always lovely to play in London, as this is my home, but this will be my first time playing at The Menier Chocolate Factory, which I’m looking forward to enormously.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Orpheus Descending?
To anyone coming to see Orpheus Descending, who might not know the play, I would say, “Hang onto your hats, it’s going to be an emotional ride….enjoy!”