Nickcolia King-N’da stars in Christopher Haydon’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which is at the Rose Theatre until 22 October.
Nickcolia King-N’da plays Simon alongside Carrie Hope Fletcher as Grusha Vashnadze and Jonathan Slinger as Azdak.
Brimming with original songs and full of mischievous humour, this is the first major production of Brecht’s epic masterpiece for more than 25 years. A gripping adventure, this new version by Steve Waters (Limehouse, Donmar Warehouse), with music by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre) is directed by Rose Artistic Director, Christopher Haydon.
You’re starring in The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Rose Theatre, how would you describe the play?
I would describe the play as an epic journey exploring human morality with tons of bangers and, above all else, playfulness.
What was it about Steve Waters’ adaptation that really appealed to you?
If I’m being completely honest, reading the script, I thought it was funny and full of character (literally) but I struggled to envision how I would fit in the story, it wasn’t until I was in the audition room and working with Chris that I understood how I could bring my personality to the project.
You’re playing Simon, tell us a little about the character, and what you’re enjoying most about the role?
I have so much fun playing Simon! The character arc Simon goes through, essentially growing from a boy to a man gave me so much scope to experiment. I tried a lot of different things, some didn’t work, some stuck but I always felt safe to “fail” in the rehearsal room and the chemistry I felt with Carrie, playing Grusha, made it feel easy.
And what do you find most challenging about the role?
What I find most challenging about the role is that Simon doesn’t have a bigger part! Aha. I want to be playing him on stage all the time!
Tell us more about the music in the production and why it’s so important to this version of The Caucasian Chalk Circle?
The music was an instant way into the world of the piece. Michael has brilliantly crafted a beautiful, rich but also clear narrative to underscore the journey. And although initially it seemed like an impossible task to execute what was being asked of us, the results speak for themselves.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Caucasian Chalk Circle?
I would say if you enjoy happiness then go book your tickets!