Anne Yeomans is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a Master’s in Musical Theatre Performance. Anne worked professionally in New York for over a decade before moving to the UK. Flat Pack Furnished Flat at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival marked Anne’s professional UK debut; Anne is thrilled to transfer and make her London debut with this thought-provoking show (anneyeomans.com spotlight.com/9331-9082-7367). Also a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (MFA Acting Classical and Contemporary Text), Allison Mickelson has written and performed numerous solo cabarets, teaches music and intentional movement, and is developing weekly creations in response to the wonder and the atrocity of the world. An accomplished theatrical performer, Allison memorised the text of Flat Pack Furnished Flat in a matter of days (allisonmickelson.com spotlight.com/3336-8975-1189).
What first attracted you to the theatre?
AY: I began acting as a child. It was a wonderful outlet for me to create and discover. I was riveted by storytelling and being able to become someone else and discover what their story was so I could tell it truthfully.
AM: A community theatre production of Godspell performed in my hometown. I would accompany my father to rehearsals at age five and sit in the house and watch the actors, the adults in my life, create music and magic and community on stage. It was a visceral knowing that I wanted to be involved in this magical storytelling.
If you could pick any one person or theatre company to work with on your next project, who/which would it be?
AM: I dream of working with Song Of The Goat Theatre and devising company in Poland and The Paper Birds devising theatre company in England and the Neo-Futurists Collective in the US.
AY: Claire Foy is one of my favourite artists. I have had the privilege to see her live on stage as well as see her screen work. Her versatility is remarkable and certainly aspirational.
What is your opinion of Off West End theatre, in general?
AY: Off West End theatre is crucial to discovering new works, independent works, festival works, and creating an artistic community that holds integrity in its inclusivity. Some of the best work I have had the honour of seeing has been Off West End.
AM: I want to see theatre that is not conforming to capitalism’s strict demands for huge audiences and “safe” subject matter. I want to support and see small and innovative shows. I grew up watching and loving big musical theatre so I always have a place in my heart for this but I am interested in seeing what is on the fringe!
What was the most inspiring performance you have ever seen? Why?
AY: Sienna Miller on Broadway as Miss Julie in Miss Julie. Her performance was beyond words, emotional, vulnerable, strong, impactful. It was key in forming my respect of the art form of acting.
What piece of work are you the most proud of?
AM: I am most proud of a devised piece I co-created with four women about the experiences and risks of being a woman: Risk Assessment. I am also proud and humbled to play Alison Bechdel in Fun Home each time I have been given that opportunity.
AY: I had the privilege of playing a character named Karen in a play called Belfast Kind written by Margot Connelly. I played this character a few times; she has a special place in my heart as does the play.
What things in your personal life do you draw from when you perform?
AY: I always try to relate to my characters, see and understand their perspective. It can be hard sometimes. But, even if it is a struggle to understand their mindset, the struggle often brings me closer to them.
AM: I draw from a desire to tell the truth. I draw from a desire to be fully in my body. I draw from my upbringing in a music-making family and a life of music-making. I draw inspiration from activism and speaking truth to power. I draw joy and deep peace from nature and am outside every chance I get. I draw on the deep desire to connect and the deep knowing that we are all connected.
Who is the best actor/actress performing on Off West End today?
AM: I look forward to finding out when I’m in London. I am always interested in physical, political theatre-makers. Who is pushing boundaries and going against culture’s norms?
Musical, comedy or drama- what’s your preference to watch?
AY: Comedy. Or Dramedy. Ultimately, it’s piece based. I’ll watch anything. I prefer to perform dramedy.
AM: ALL OF THE ABOVE! I want to watch people telling the truth which is musical, comedic and dramatic.
Can you tell our readers about what you’re doing now/next?
AM: I am working with a creator and friend on weekly creative responses to the wonder and the s*** of the world. Our responses take any form, can be performed or workshopped, and are challenging us as artists to be vigilant watchers and participators in this world now.
AY: I recently completed my second Master’s degree in Script and Screenwriting at Falmouth University. I’d like to continue writing and creating fresh work. At the moment it’s project to project!