Sirine Saba appears in Samuel Adamson’s Wife, which maps a constellation of four queer stories within four generations in one family. The world première of this captivating study of sexuality across the ages is directed by Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham.
Wife opens on 4 June, with previews from 30 May, and runs until 6 July, coinciding with London’s Pride parade.
You’re appearing in Wife at Kiln Theatre, what can you tell us about it?
It’s an exceptional piece of work, if I do say so myself, written by the wondrous Samuel Adamson. It’s full of love and passion, human beings doing the best they can do, family secrets, how the consequences of our actions and decisions in life affect our future generations, all woven together by various productions of a Doll’s house across the years. It gives me goosebumps.
How would you describe your character?
Suzannah is an actress. We first meet her in 1959 when she is appearing as Nora in A Doll’s House. She brilliantly time travels throughout the play, playing Nora in various productions of A Doll’s House and then interacting with the characters in Wife who come to see her in it. With every time change, the life of the theatre has changed depending on which decade we are in and she helps tell that story. With every time change, her performance as Nora affects the characters around her in a different way.
How would you say this play compares to other plays telling Queer stories?
What I love about this piece is that the exploration of the queer stories it tells are so specific to the time period they are set in. One can really track the challenges, triumphs, heartbreaks, joys etc of each changing decade. This all beautifully blends with the transformative act of going to the theatre.
What are the challenges or opportunities staging a play set in four different time periods, especially when one is an imagined future?
Oh, it’s an absolute joy delving into the time periods! And boy are we going for it each time! Each time period is fully honoured, the set transforms every time as will the lighting, sound, music, costumes (yey shoulder pads in 1988). We had an interesting moment in rehearsal the other day when my character Suzannah is supposed to be eating in the dressing room in 2042. We considered cutting it because we didn’t want the audience to step out of the moment and think to themselves “hm, what’s that, would we still have those in 2042? Hm, apples, ooh” etc! It’s a work in progress but I LOVE eating on stage so I am fighting hard to keep it in! Watch this space.
What do you like most about the way Samuel Adamson has written Wife?
His humanity. My God that man understands how human beings work. That is what I want when I go to the theatre. To see human beings muddling through, doing their best, soaring and stumbling and roaring through life. All the characters in Wife do that. It’s bloody funny too.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Wife?
“Stop thinking and start booking”.
Photo Credit Marc Brenner