Interview: Mandi Symonds

Although most of the action appears to be going on in Edinburgh throughout August, there's still plenty to get your teeth stuck in to in London, one such example is Boom, now showing at Theatre 503 until the 26th August.

"Jules, a marine biologist, placed a personals ad offering “sex to change the course of the world”. Jo replied and has come to Jules’ lab expecting a hot night of no strings sex. But this is no casual encounter, it has evolutionary significance and the future of the human race hangs in the balance.
Will they survive? Will we survive? What’s with the fish tank? And who is the strange woman in the corner?"

Directed by the brilliant Katherine Nesbitt, we're sure this will be of interest to some of our readers at FemaleArts. If you're keen to know more, we ran a Q and A with Mandi Symonds who plays Barbara in this production.

Amie: Hi Mandi, tell us a little about you and how you became an actor?

Mandi: I was one of those kids was who always putting on shows (in the living room) endlessly twirling and saying' look at me!' So it was lucky for my poor long suffering parents (I use to sell them their own orange juice and biscuits in the 'interval' of yet another version of the Wizard of Oz,) that I moved away, got into a wonderful drama school, Guildhall, and have made a living as an actor.

Amie: You're currently working on Boom, how's it been so far?

Mandi: I fell in love with the play when I read it, so am privileged that we are getting to do the premiere here. I love working with Will and Nicole (the other actors), and because I'm the older, more experienced actor they think I know stuff! It's exciting working in the 503 there is such a buzz about the place, also the whole team is completely invested in making this production great. Katherine Nesbitt, our director, is one to watch.

Amie: What's the best thing about playing Barbara?

Mandi: I would say it's a dream role for me. So many things. She breaks the fourth wall, she is in crisis and has a huge and (I hope) hilarious emotional journey, she passionately cares about what she's doing and she plays a drum badly. Irresistible!

Amie: Have there been any challenges?

Mandi: Always, as an actor you feel a responsibility to the playwright to bring the character to life as intended but also to add that extra cherry, which is your own uniqueness; it can keep you up at night.

Amie: What do you hope audiences will take away from watching this piece?

Mandi: This play is that wonderful thing, a personal favourite of mine and a comedy with huge themes. It confronts the big questions about life itself and that it is transient and vulnerable yet, I think, ultimately the audience will find it really uplifting.

Amie: What's next for you?
Mandi: Something wonderful. Wouldn't say no to some more Boom!

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