KATHRYN O’REILLY is an actress, writer and and all rounder, I caught up with her as she is in rehearsals working on her written play ‘Screwed’ about ‘two co-dependent soul mates’ living life to the max; exploring roles on men and women today, friendship, parenting, change, violence, addiction. Find out about her latest roles in TV and how she manages to evolve and keep her creative pulse racing and achieve her dreams.
Tell us a little bit of what you have been doing since we last caught up?
Well, acting wise I had a wonderful role in a brilliant episode of Holby City ‘It Tolls For Thee’ written by Joe Ainsworth and directed by Karl Neilson. I had such a fantastic time working with all the cast and crew, it was a real joy. Catch the episode here, it’s quite a roller coaster.
And as a writer, my play Screwed that had a reading in November 2015 at Out of Joint, supported by The Production Exchange that I was telling you about last time has gone into production! All the hard work has paid off and I am so grateful and fortunate to have funding from The Richard Carne Trust, Joanna Bacon and support from Out of Joint, I am producing it with Maeve O’Neill and we have also secured Arts Council funding so as you can image we are elated. Wehave a brilliant team of people involved, Tas Emiabata is the educationalist, dramaturg Neil Grutchfield, designer Catherine Morgan, lighting designer Jamie Platt, composer Benedict Taylor and assistant director Mony Leigh. We are currently in the first week of rehearsals and it’s really exciting.
What is your new play about? who is in it ? and when is it playing?
Screwed is about two co-dependent soul mates, Luce and Charlene who live for the moment and work to go out and get on one. They are hard-core binge drinking survivors, thrill seeking sexual predators. They survive the factory floor at work by popping caffeine pills, downing miniatures and boasting of the previous nights sexual conquests. Fellow factory worker and recently promoted foreman Paulo has his designs on Charlene and although he is caught up in their chaotic whirlwind of a life style, he also dreams of another life. Doris is Luce’s parent and together they have a new venture, running an on-line sex advice vlog, with challenges of her own Doris offers Luce and Charlene help and guidance as things start to fall apart around everyone.
It’s about so many things; roles on men and women today, friendship, parenting, change, violence, addiction.
In the cast we have Derek Elroy, Eloise Joseph, Stephen Myott-Meadows and Samantha Robinson directed by Sarah Meadows.
It’s playing at Theatre 503 which is above the Latchmere pub 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW 28th June – 23rd July 7:45pm performances with Sunday matinees at 5:00pm
What do you love about writing?
So much. I love it as a form of expression. Well you just need you, to begin with. And your imagination. I am interested in what is means to be human and I’m bit obsessed with choices and consequences and love a bit of psychology, I find people’s behaviour endlessly fascinating. So I guess I enjoy making up characters and exploring their behaviour and
relationships with other characters and seeing what it all does to the story and the characters lives. I find the act of writing nourishing and exciting because I really get into it. Then sharing the writing with someone else like a mentor or dramaturge and getting feedback and hearing their interpretation and take on it all is great and very valuable, be it positive or not so positive feedback. The challenge of shaping, refining, re-drafting as you analyze what it is you are trying to say, working out exactly what it is you are wanting to say. Then further by collaborating with actors, directors and it feels like a team is building and you are all on the same side, even when things get cut and get turned on their head and the fear and adrenaline that surges through you as you hear the words being spoken out loud. Then sharing it with an audience and seeing what that does to it and what the play really is and if it works.
When do you find time to do everything?
I’m not sure sometimes. I’m not the best planner in the world and I sometimes wonder how I get anything done as I can be quite impulsive, I have fits and starts and can do a good bit of displacement activity at times. I start things and then before I know what I’m off doing something else but I think the key is actually just getting on with it. Whatever it is, because the thing is, in ones life time I don’t think there is the time to do everything anyway. I overheard a brilliant snippet of a conversation between a mother and daughter today on the street and the mother said “If you are serious about it. Then do it today”.
Do you have a ritual when writing?
Not really. But what often happens is I make a cafetier of coffee, drink a couple of cups. Then I get the hoover out. Start cleaning, and probably an hour or so later I actually physically start writing, with another cup of coffee in hand.
What is your next writing project?
Well I’m hoping to get another play into production. I’ll update you for sure when that happens.
Tell us about the play, The view? What role do you play?
The play I am currently acting in is called A View From Islington North, which in fact comprises of five short plays by fantastic writers, Mark Ravenhill, Alistair Beaton, Caryl Churchill, Stella Feehily and David Hare of which I am in the first three. I am delighted to be working again with director Max Stafford-Clark, producer Karl Sydow and Out of
Joint, and a wonderful cast, Bruce Alexander, Ann Mitchell, Joseph Prowen and Jane Wymark.
All in all it’s an evening of political satire. “Alistair Beaton and Stella Feehily make merry with the machinations behind the closed doors of our major political parties. David Hare takes us inside George Osborne’s mind. Mark Ravenhill eyes the cost of our military adventures as a soldier’s mother does all she can to avoid hearing the news she dreads. And Caryl Churchill imagines a world where even language is sponsored.”
When is it on?
It’s on right now at the Arts Theatre in Leicester square and runs until 2nd July with 7:30pm performances Monday – Saturday and Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3:00pm.
Do you have any other tv roles coming forward?
Yes. I have another episode of Holby City coming up in July which I am thrilled about.
Kathryn is a talented lady and an inspiration to many people who want to take a career in the arts. Keep up the good work Kathryn, The Factoryline are 100000000% behind you!!! : )
Screwed by Kathryn O’Reilly photo by Hana Kovacs
Kathryn O’Reilly & Mark Ravenhill photo by Piers
e-flyer Screwed photo by Hana Kovacs
Agent: Conway van Gelder Grant
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