Interview – Gala Gordon [Blueberry Toast]

 Gala Gordon in rehearsals for Blueberry Toast. Image by Lily Bertrand-Webb

A twisted, darkly comic expose of domestic life and the darker side of the American Dream, Mary Laws‘ highly-acclaimed Blueberry Toast begins its anticipated UK premiere at the Soho Theatre on Thursday 24 May, in a co-production between Soho Theatre and the recently launched Platform Presents.

With just ten days to go before opening night, we caught up with Blueberry Toast star and Platform Presents co-founder, Gala Gordon, to discuss the play, her influences and the aims of the company.

Gala Gordon Interview

You are currently in rehearsals for the UK Premiere of Blueberry Toast. Tell us a little about the show and the character you play?

Blueberry Toast is a dark comedy by playwright and screenwriter Mary Laws. It’s a show about family breakdown, opening on a picture-perfect middle-class American home – with a beaming husband and wife and their two mini-me perfect children – and closing on the set of a Tarantino-esque horror.

I play the Role of Barb (Wife to Walt, and mother to Jack and Jill). Barb strives to be the perfect wife, but struggles with this idealised role. The cracks begin to show, and rebellion bubbles up inside her with tragic consequences. At the heart of the play are ideas that are universal, about feeling stuck in a role you have been forced into and which is oppressive.

  It is described as a black comedy. Just how dark is it? 

About as dark as it gets. We take the American Dream, and turn it on its head, exposing domestic abuse and the cracks in the patriarchy via a story of female empowerment.

This production marks the first collaboration between Soho Theatre and your own production company, Platform Presents. How did that collaboration come about and will it be the first of many?

My co-producer, Isabella Macpherson, and I found the play and took it to the Soho Theatre. We believed it was the right space to house this type of dark comedy. We have worked well with the great team they have, from casting director to marketing, from artistic director to sales director to co-producers. Hopefully it will be the first of many!

When did you first discover Mary Laws’ work and what was it that attracted you to the piece?

I have long been an admirer of Mary’s work from watching her film The Neon Demon and TV show Preacher. I was most attracted to Mary’s exquisite dialogue, delivering clever and unexpected twists. Her work is multi-layered. As a company we have found ourselves daily discovering hidden meaning and references, which is a treat.

What are the core aims of Platform Presents and how can people get involved?

Isabella Macpherson and I founded Platform Presents to give a platform to rising star talent: actors, writers and directors, with a particular interest in female voices. I was inspired by the off-Broadway culture of underground theatre in New York, where young talent can take part in play readings or film readings. So we brought this concept to the UK to showcase rising stars. We aim to build a collaborative creative community alongside up-and-coming and established artists through play readings and full productions, to find a new voice for theatre professionals.

How did you first get into acting?

I always took part in school plays and loved creating characters in my head, but first began my training when I got into Guildhall School of Music and Drama when I was 18.

When did you realise acting was the career you wanted to pursue?

I always loved performing and art but knew from the age of 15 that it was something I really wanted to pursue.

Who were your main influences growing up?

My cousin was a huge influence in my life, he taught me how to enjoy every moment.

Can you see yourself stepping out the limelight for a bit and moving further into the production side?

Acting will always be my passion, performing and stepping into someone else’s shoes. Producing and creating work is becoming such a joy, that I am learning alongside acting.

What was the last film you saw?

Gone Girl for research for Blueberry Toast.

What was the last album you bought/downloaded? 

 24 Karat Gold by Stevie Nicks

Five desert island books?

Other Men’s Flowers – A.P Wavell

Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney

The Lady with The Dog and other stories – Anton Chekhov

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

The Country – Martin Crimp

What’s next for Gala Gordon?

There are some very exciting projects coming up but sadly I can’t talk about them yet!

Blueberry Toast runs at the Soho Theatre from Thursday 24 May to Saturday 30 June 2018. 

For more information, and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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