Back to the Boards: Eleanor Kane
With the recent re-opening of theatres across the UK, we thought it might be nice to have a little chin-wag with performers and creatives who are heading back to work. Throughout the week we will be sharing a series of interviews where we unpack your hopes and fears for the future of our industry. Expect honest answers, shameless plugs and an eclectic array of stagey huns.
So with out further ado, I present to you the first instalment of 'Back to the Boards' with none other than Miss Eleanor Kane!!!
Eleanor Kane - Actor-Musician
Eleanor in rehearsals for ‘Housefire’. On at the Jermyn Street Theatre (23rd May) and the Turbine Theatre (24th-26th May). Get your tickets! It’s going to be rocking!!!
In 3 words, tell us how you feel about returning to work in the theatre industry?
“Fortunate. Impassioned. Free.”
Could you tell us about what it’s like to be back in a rehearsal room?
“I’ve started rehearsals for ‘Housefire’ which is an actor-muso gig-theatre piece about climate change. And I’ve absolutely loved it, but it has been quite challenging. I don’t think I was ready after a year of chilling out, or in my case chilling with the plants (Eleanor has spent most of the pandemic studying horticulture!). It took me a little time to get used to that intensity and just a general anxiety about ‘is my craft still there? Is she a bit rusty? Is that malleability you need in a creative process still there?’ Because obviously it’s a muscle and when you haven’t been engaging with other creatives it’s quite difficult…but overall it’s been an amazing experience and I’ve just loved to be back.”
What have you missed the most about working in the theatre industry?
"The people. Just being around like-minded folk . And I think this goes for the music industry as well which has obviously been affected in the same way. I’ve missed connecting with other creatives. I absolutely thrive of the creative process. I love the rehearsals - I think probably more than preforming!”
What have you missed the least about working in the theatre industry?
“I’ve not missed the early starts! Lockdown was 11.30am on a very good day! So not missed being in rehearsals for 10am! And I’ve not missed the long commutes that you get in London. And how spenny it is down here! It’s a lot less spenny in Glasgow (Eleanor’s home town)."
Some say that 2021 is the year of ‘establishing a new normal.’ Are there any changes you would like to see in our industry? And how do you think we should set about making those changes?
“I like to see a much stronger and more active framework tackling misogyny in the work place. I think in the events of this year I’ve become a lot more aware about the way that women and non-binary people are treated in the work place - and that re-education we all need about internal misogyny is something that’s quite important to me. And creating a safe environment for women, non-binary and trans people. Not that it’s not happening already - in the space I’m working in that’s absolutely not the case at all- but I do know that there’s certain double standards that are still there.
Also I think a lot of people have gotten use to this more …hygienic world and I’d really like to keep that up! Mainly just out of respect for other people and what they feel comfortable with. The pandemic has affected people really deeply, sometimes tragically if they’ve lost loved ones. So I think I’d like to keep everything sanitised and clean and keep numbers reduced. I know there’s going to be a lot of anxiety about coming back into spaces where there are lots of people.
And I’d also like theatre tickets to be cheaper so that more people can come and see theatre.”
Are there any personal reflections you’ve made during the pandemic which will affect the way you treat your career going forward?
“Yes. I think I’ve reflected a lot about my worth as an artist and why I make art…and always remembering that I love it. Always remembering that I love what I do and I have a really strong faith in it. And I’m never going to take it for granted again. But definitely reminding myself a lot more I love doing this and I want to go in every day and allow myself to enjoy it and not get so wrapped up in stuff…and wrapped up in the perfectionism of it. I think I was quite a perfectionist and beat myself up a lot. But I’d really like to change that moving forward.
I’ve also realised I really apprentice some of the freelance passion projects that I do and they are absolutely essential when your doing bigger jobs…especially for me, like I work in quite high- intensity musical theatre productions where the environment is sometimes quite commercial. But reinvigorating your love for it with these passion projects is something I want to carry on.”
Are there any shows (besides your own) that you’re really looking forward to opening?
“You know what…I have’t really seen any like… classic musical theatre! I’ve never seen Wicked, I’ve never seen Les Mis. I’m really excited for Prince of Egypt to open actually! So I think I’m going to live my best stagey life and go and see some cheesy musical theatre shows and just tick them off the list. I’m very looking forward to The National opening as well! Love the Nash!
Eleanor (far left) and her cast mates getting ready to rock your world with their production of 'Housefire.'
Tell us about a bit about your show? Who is it for? When is it on and where can we see it?
I am performing in Housefire. It’s about a group of three endangered animals who are in a punk band and they set out on a mission - all for their own different reasons coming out of their personal trauma - to change people’s view about climate change and rally people into action. It’s set five years in the future when the climate crisis is much more severe than it is now. It’s an absolutely rockin punk rock gig-theatre show which is absolutely up my street and it’s great to be doing actor-muso work again!
I’d say it’s for everyone. It’s a very politically driven show. I think if we were dedicating it to anyone it would be the teenage activists. There’s a song in the show called “You’re the Future” which basically champions Greta Thunberg, Ridhima Pandey, Nina Gualinga - all of these teenagers who really represent the heartfelt, moral side of the climate change movement.
It’s on from the 23rd - 26th May. On 23rd we’re at the Jermyn Street Theatre. And from the 24th-26th May it’s on as part of MT Fest at The Turbine Theatre.”
The Bohemians would like to thank you for reading our interview with Eleanor Kane. Be sure to buy your tickets by following the link below.
We'll be back tomorrow with more interviews from artists and lovies alike.
Housefire tickets: https://www.theturbinetheatre.com/whats-on/housefire-(mtfest-on-tour)