Jessye Romeo plays Bev in the world première of Gabriel Gbadamosi’s Stop and Search at The Arcola Theatre. Directed by Mehmet Ergen, Stop and Search opens on 14 January, with previews from 9 January, and runs until 9 February.
You’re appearing in Stop and Search at The Arcola Theatre, what can you tell us about it?
Stop and Search takes a powerful look at the ways in which we are policed. At its core we are observing the human experience – the intricate complexities within ourselves and how that affects our relationships with one another.
You play Bev, how would you describe the character?
Bev is quite a complex character – grappling with her mental health, exacerbated by events in her personal life, but also articulating in this beautiful and inspiring way. I love that she speaks candidly of her experience as a black British woman.
What has surprised you most about Gabriel Gbadamosi’s writing?
There are so many layers to Gabriel’s writing. Every time I read the play I find something new within the text, he’s generous in that sense. It’s rich and has this poetry and subtle rhythmic quality that I was really drawn to.
What have you learned from working with director, Mehmet Ergen?
Mehmet’s nature is quite laid back which lends to an incredible sense of freedom in the rehearsal room. Given the intense themes we are dealing with it feels really good to have this balance while we create.
What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to see Stop and Search?
Come in empty of expectation because I reckon it’s not going to be what you think it is and also plays are better enjoyed that way. Bonus is it’s not particularly long which is good because everyone’s attention spans are short nowadays. *wink face emoji 😉*