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An Interview with Ollie Graveson and Andrew Wilson

Mary Stuart

Tell us about yourself.


Ollie: Originally from West-Sussex, I studied History at the University of Kent. I got involved in CSF in the first season, back in 2015. Over the last four years I have acted in three and directed one CSF production. I am a member of the National Youth Theatre, and have also acted with a number of local theatre groups.


What made you Interested in directing?


Ollie: My first experiences in theatre, came from acting in many productions. I was fascinated by a number of directors, who seemed to effortlessly be able to get the best out of their actors. I wanted to see if I could be one of those people. I quickly learned that it is never effortless, but I have been hooked ever since!


What inspired you to do MS?


Ollie: I first saw a production of Mary Stuart back in 2016, at the Almeida (directed by Rob Icke). I quickly fell in love with the play. The characters and ideas are so complex, yet the dialogue is as pacy as a modern drama. For me, this play had to be performed now, because its ideas are so relevant to the challenges our current society faces; division between England and Scotland, the discrimination of women, the extent to which the will of the people can change.

What do you think is unique about your production?

Ollie: Uniquness? It is very much an ensemble piece, not entirely revolving around Elizabeth and Mary. What (I hope) will make our production of this play different to previous versions, is that audiences will realise how relevant it is to 21st century Britain. Also, its in the round! Audiences will feel that it is an intimate production, and will be right at the heart of the action. Favourite line/scene In real life, Elizabeth and Mary never met. Their relationship was formed and broken entirely through the hundreds of letters exchanged between them.

Do you have particular favourite line/scene?

Ollie: In one scene in the play, Schiller has them meeting. It is incredibly tense, and definitely a highlight of the play!


Why should people audition?


Ollie: The play is an actors dream. The characters are so complex, and the scenes move so quickly that it should be a real thrill to perform. Me and Andrew really believe in doing everything we can to develop actors, and help them to have a great time on stage. So I would say, audition because its a brilliant play, and you will have a lot of fun performing it!


What can audiences expect from your production?


Ollie: For history buffs, (I hope) the production accurately portrays the historical figures in the play. For those less familiar with Mary Stuart, expect two hours of fast-paced political drama. House of Cards, eat your heart out!

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