Saffron Coomber stars in the world premiere of Alys Metcalf’s Leopards, the opening Rose Original production in Artistic Director Christopher Haydon’s inaugural season at Rose Theatre.
Saffron Coomber’s recent theatre credits include Emilia (West End), for which she was nominated for ‘Best West-End Debut’ at The Stage Debut Awards 2019. Leopards also stars Martin Marquez.
Leopards will premiere at Rose Theatre from 2 to 25 September. Tickets are on sale here.
You’re starring in Leopards at Rose Theatre, what can you tell us about the play?
Leopards is an interrogation of goodness. What does it mean to be good? In the vast human experience can we ever atone for our sins, let alone another’s? It’s a thriller exploring sex, consent and power, and whether we can ever really change our spots.
Tell us about your character and what you’re looking forward to most about taking on this role?
Niala is a shapeshifter. She is capable of great humour but also great darkness. I am looking forward to allowing all the colours of the human experience to come through her. What I love about her is that she is not just one thing – she is complex, filled with the contradictions of what it means to be human.
What were your first impressions when you read Alys Metcalf’s script?
When I first read the play, I can only assimilate it to being on a rollercoaster. My stomach was taking all sorts of twists and turns, and when I finished it I certainly felt like I had been on a ride. It scared me, and that’s why I knew I had to do it.
Why do you think this play is so relevant today?
I think this play is relevant today because it tackles parts of human nature that either are swept under the rug or when discussed, if at all, are done so in binary terms. It allows us to face the parts of ourselves that we most often keep hidden, which is so important if any change of how we treat each other is to take place. It begins with truth, and taking responsibility, and I think this play is a vehicle for that.
How does it feel to be opening Christopher Haydon’s inaugural season at Rose Theatre?
I could not be more thrilled to be opening Christopher Haydon’s season at the Rose. It is my utmost privilege to tell this story, with such brilliant cast and crew, in such a fantastic venue. It is a dream come true.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Leopards?
This play unapologetically thrusts you out of your comfort zone. If you are looking for a truly individual viewing experience, this play is for you. However, there are an array of triggering themes around sex and grief, so please look after yourself first by ensuring you put parameters in place in order to feel safe as an audience member, such as coming with a trusted friend or booking an aisle seat if you need to leave at any point. Only do what you are capable of!