Nancy Sullivan plays Leah in Abi Zakarian’s Fabric, a new production in support of Solace Women’s Aid. Following a run at Soho Theatre, the production tours to non-traditional theatre spaces – Hammersmith Town Hall, Kingsgate Community Centre, Goodinge Community Centre and Draper Hall, located in four boroughs identified by Solace Women’s Aid as target areas.

Fabric tours until 6th October 2018, click here for details.

Fabric is heading out on tour following a run at the Soho Theatre, what can you tell us about it?

The aim of taking Fabric to non traditional spaces is to get audiences who might not see the play usually, due to money or lack of time getting into town after work etc to give them a chance to see it. I mean the subject matter is massively important to be taking to audiences and that you get to give that and an experience of theatre at the same time is very exciting.

You’ve had great experience of performing in big ensemble productions, what are you looking forward to most about performing solo?

I enjoy the responsibility of a solo show, I like the control that if something is wrong or not going as well as it could be, it’s on me to make right.

Why do you think it’s important that theatre deals with subjects like sexual violence and trauma?

For me I think it’s important we see real life on stage to learn, empathise and bring change through seeing it ,and also for audiences to see themselves reflected on stage. Unfortunately this play is all far too real and common so a subject matter than I don’t think theatre can ignore.

What do you enjoy most about Abi Zakarian’s writing?

I enjoy lots about it, one of my favourite things about it is  actually how raw, unapologetic and real some of the harder scenes are. Abi doesn’t shy away from anything and it’s very powerful for an audience to have to listen to Leah’s story especially when you can see at times they’d rather not.

After the Soho Theatre, Fabric tours to some non-traditional theatre spaces, what are the opportunities and challenges with that?

The challenges are leaving the safety of a theatre, I’ve never done anything like this and the idea of not having a full lighting rig, buzz of a theatre and the safety of a stage is very scary. Things we take for granted in a theatre and it being stripped back to the words is liberating but quite nerve racking.

Tell us about the Q&A’s that will run after certain performances?

The q&a’s are with Solace and some of the creative team. They bring awareness to violence in relationships, offer support and we talk about how Leah’s experience mirrors other women.  It was amazing the last talk we did when some women gave personal experiences and were clearly touched and comforted by the play and q&a.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Fabric?

It’s not all dark and heavy! There’s lots of humour in it and relatable everyday situations women face which we can all find humour in. As well as women please bring your brothers, husbands, sons and together we all might have some food for thought.

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly


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