Clare Perkins stars in the return of Zadie Smith’s The Wife of Willesden to the Kiln Theatre, running from 14 December to 11th February, ahead of transferring to the US, where it will play at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University from 25 February – 19 March.
Clare Perkins will reprise her role as Alvita, in Indhu Rubasingham’s critically acclaimed production.
You’re returning to Kiln Theatre to reprise the role of Alvita in The Wife of Willesden, what can you tell us about the play?
The play is about Alvita, she has been married five times and has a LOT to say about it! It’s also about storytelling and being ‘creative’ with the facts, albeit very faithful to the events in the original Wife of Bath’s tale.
What was it about Zadie Smith’s writing that attracted you to the role initially?
Zadie has perfectly captured 16th Century Alison and brought her bang up to date in Alvita. As soon as I read it I was hungry for the part, she’s done a superb job.
And what is it about Alvita that you love and made you want to return to the role?
It’s great to be able to play a character my own age who is this wonderful, outspoken, funny and badass; better than playing nurses and sweet grandmas!
Is there anything you find really challenging about the role?
The amount of lines and the fear that people might not want to listen to me talking for that long ha ha ha!
It was a huge success when it premiered last year, how do you hope audiences will react to it coming back?
Last year people hadn’t been to the theatre for a while and we brought them back with a big bawdy old bang, I’m hoping that still happens and we bring a lot of laughs and joy this holiday season.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Wife of Willesden?
I’d say have a good wee first, there’s no interval and a lot of laughing!!