Monique Ashe-Palmer (Six, Vaudeville Theatre) stars in the World Premiere of £1 Thursdays from rising star Kat Rose-Martin at Finborough Theatre.
Monique Ashe-Palmer joins Yasmin Taheri (Royal Shakespeare Company), Joseph Ayer (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, National Theatre and Gielgud Theatre) and Sian Breckin (Royal Court Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, Bush Theatre, Arcola Theatre, The Old Vic)
£1 Thursdays is a new coming of age story set in 2012, which captures and celebrates the trials and tribulations of what it means to be young, Northern and working class, when for one Vodka-blurred second, you’re allowed to forget everything else. An expressive and honest portrait of the lives of so many young britains on the cusp of possible opportunity… AND DANCING.
You’re starring in £1 Thursdays at Finborough Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?
The play is a beautifully crafted, honest and unapologetic depiction of the lives of two young friends growing up in Bradford in 2012. In the space of 90 minutes we zoom in on the lives of these two girls both publicly and behind closed doors. We acknowledge their differences and appreciate the overarching themes that unite them; themes which I think will resonate with many people.
What was it about Kat Rose-Martin’s script that made you so keen to be part of this production?
Kat is a northern writer who has written a play about northern people. As soon as I read it, the play felt like putting on your fluffy slippers when you get home after a long day. I found the language and the humour so comforting. In many ways, my life growing up in Leeds paralleled the lives of Jen (played by Yasmin Taheri) and Stacey (Me) and that felt like such an exciting story to tell. The northern nuances in this play never become a gag, they’re simply ingrained in the everyday lives of these characters. Kat is clever, let me just say that! It’s an important story to tell and I am honoured to get to tell it.
What are you most looking forward to about working at the Finborough?
This will be my first experience working in such an intimate space which excites me. Connection is such an integral part of this play and the Finborough acts as an enabler for that deep onstage connection between the cast as well as a connection with the audience.
Tell us a little about your character, what are you loving about the role?
Stacey is vibrant, fun, real, loyal and extremely passionate but at the heart of it all she’s a girl from Bradford trying to navigate her way through a world that’s very different to the one she dreams of. Stacey’s emotional arc throughout the play was both exciting and daunting for me. As an actor, I spend a lot of my life pretending but Stacey felt very real and honest. There’s nothing linear about Stacey, she’s super complex. Every time I read the text or rehearse, I discover something new, which is so exciting ahead of a 4 week run. She’s a dreamer and there is something beautiful to be found in that. Dreaming gives you hope and despite adversity, she always has hope – something we can all take away with us.
£1 Thursdays has just 4 actors. What are you enjoying about working with a small cast?
It’s a small group of people, telling a huge story. Acting requires an immense amount of trust, not only in yourself but in the other actors who you are telling this story with. We have bonded over the common understanding that it’s only the four of us in charge of steering this huge ship; unlike other productions I’ve been involved in, there is no army of people to fall back on if it all goes tits up and we have complete trust. The support is unmatched in a cast of this size.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see £1 Thursdays?
It’s winter, it’s freezing so what better place to spend an evening than at the cosy, intimate Finborough theatre. I didn’t stutter! Book those tickets now!
Monique Ashe-Palmer stars in £1 Thursdays at the Finborough Theatre, 28 November – 22 December. Tickets are available from www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk