Elizabeth Elsworth, who plays Grandma Fraochlán in YSCP’s production of THE MAI by MARINA CARR, answers some questions about the play:
Q. Can you sum up the play in three words?
A. ”Funny, poignant, poetical.”
Q. Why should people come and see our production of The Mai?
A. “If you love a good story, well told by a grand set of characters this is a play for you! It is truly ‘laugh out loud’ funny as well as moving and challenging. The characters have emerged from the page with a life that has taken us by surprise at times. There are powerful scenes and I have been admiring the performances evolving within the company. The influence of family is a very strong theme within the play and the relationships have formed and melded into the language and reflect the art of the storyteller as well as the vision of our director, Jan.”
Q. Tell us a bit about your character. How are you similar to/different from them?
A. “Grandma Fraochlán is certainly an individual! She has made her 100th birthday and still going! She has lived and survived much and not afraid to tell folk about her life or to put them right! She does not hold back. There is much to admire in that as there is to question. She has had to be resilient, but this has not come without emotional cost to her family.
As to her role in the play I’ve heard it said ‘it ‘Grandma’s fault’, the impact of her choices reverberating across four generations. “It’s the way we were made!” says Grandma Fraochlán at one point . But who makes us? How do we all become who we are and what influences us in our life choices. Is that only those immediately around us or does it not include the society in which we live, their judgements and rules of acceptance that mould us over time? Is this a matter of individual blame? Audiences, I hope will decide for themselves.
Although I admire her strengths, I hope that I am far away from her weaknesses.”
Q. What’s your favourite line from the play?
A. “the orchestration may be different but the tune is always the same”
Photo Credit: Michael J Oakes.
York Settlement Community Players present:
The Mai by Marina Carr
Directed by Jan Kirk
Composer: Oliver Mills
Wednesday 16 March – Saturday 19 March, 2016
Venue: Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB
Time: 7.30pm with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee
Tickets: £12 & £10 (Concessions: over 60s, unwaged and those in full time education)
Box Office: York Theatre Royal 01904 623568
Directions: Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB. Entrance to the venue is at the end of an alley, between the Cavalier Hotel and the Trinity Methodist Church.
Adult Content 16+