Back to the Boards: Sophie Bevan
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.
Today we hear from one of our very own Associate Artists, Sophie Bevan. Sophie is a very talented Actor-Musician, writer and all round leg-end.
Let's hear what she has to say...
Sophie (middle) in rehearsals for ‘Moby Dick’ at The Dock Amphitheatre, Hull. Photo courtesy of Robling Photography.
In 3 words, tell us how you feel about returning to work in the theatre industry?
“Excited. Ready. Relieved.”
Could you tell us about what it’s like to be back in a rehearsal room?
(Only if you’ve started rehearsals)
“So I’ve only been in rehearsals for one day, but so far it’s been absolutely amazing. But it’s actually been so tiring being with people again…you’re just like woah! At the same time it’s been so easy…like this is just what I’m suppose to be doing. This is normal. This is good. This is the best thing ever. And also because I’m nervous that it might close again I’m just enjoying every little bit that I normally wouldn’t have enjoyed before…like even everybody just sat round together and everybody getting coffee together.”
What have you missed the most about working in the theatre industry?
“I’ve missed the people and the support bubble. I mean we’ve had that online, but actually having people around you can talk to about being an actor - how things are, just being back with people again. And I’ve missed the idea of opportunity and excitement and missed seeing my friends getting jobs. Just knowing it’s working, being able to go see something. Even if I’m not in something. Just it still being on. It felt like it stopped, but it’s good for it just to be alive.”
What have you missed the least about working in the theatre industry?
“During the lockdowns it felt good to have a reason for not getting work and not having auditions and self-tapes to do all the time. And what I haven’t missed starting up again is sort of the comparing yourself to other people - but it sort of happens. Going “Oh they’ve had a self-tape for this, they’ve had a self-tape for that, why haven’t I been seen, I’m not getting anything through.” Just sort of the rat race of it. Because the turn around is so quick for it as well. Like working full time and fitting self-tapes in is so difficult. And all of the admin that comes with it!”
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?
“Well I definitely think we need to be more diverse. Obviously that’s just a given. And we really really need to work on that as companies and the people at the top. And make it a safe space for people to open up about things and share things. And I’d like to see a bit more improvement in terms of mental health I suppose. Just like checking in with each other a lot more. Like we were doing during the lockdown - I think that should continue. Just checking in with people. And checking in with people at work. I think we all just need to have open communication, make it a safe space to communicate. Just ask ourselves a lot of questions all the time, just ask ourselves questions and never loose that. No matter where we are in our careers.”
Are there any personal reflections you’ve made during the pandemic which will affect the way you treat your career going forward?
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs about my career. Because obviously with like no work happening I’ve definitely had moments where I’m like “can I actually sustain this lifestyle because it’s really turbulent”. So I think going forward I’m just going to not stress so much. If I need to get my day job set up, if I need to get my house and everything set up before I do lots of work on acting I’m just not going to feel guilty about that basically. Because you know, we need to eat as well as make art. I think sometimes I have the struggling artist mentally of ‘I need to be struggling to make good art or be an actor.’
I think it’s probably a personal thing, but I think I’m going to stop stressing about the little things. To just enjoy being in a room with people. Even in auditions, not stress about ‘Am I gunna get this?’ Just enjoy the moment because I think it’s been so long without anything at all that even a self-tape or anything is just exciting now and I don’t want to ever loose that. Just to be able to be with people, read a play, do some art. Even auditions are fun.”
Are there any shows (besides your own) that you’re really looking forward to opening?
“I am so excited about all shows opening. My plan is - well depending on covid - is to see all my friends’ shows. I’m really excited to see them. I’m excited to go to The Watermill. I’m excited to see 'The Mousetrap’ because I’ve never actually seen that and my friend’s in that (Patrick Alexander James Duff). I’m just excited to see all of them to be honest. Not even a particular one, just every damn show. Every one of them."
Tell us about a bit about your show? Who is it for? When is it on and where can we see it?
“My show is Moby Dick. It’s an adaptation by Nick Lane and it’s a reimagining by John Godber. Performed in Hull from the 2nd June - 12th June at the Dock Amphitheatre. It’s going to be outdoors! So it’s going to be really exciting to get the people of Hull involved, just to be able to share things with Hull. I think it’s one of the first shows to actually be opened in Hull after covid and the closures. So that’s really exciting to be part of. Brining theatre back, literally. The shows going to be a little bit muso, a little bit musical theatre. Lots of sea shanties. V exciting.”
The Bohemians would like to say a big thank you Sophie for giving us such thoughtful answers! Be sure to follow the link below to book tickets for her show!
We'll be back tomorrow with the final instalment of 'Back to the Boards.'
LA VIE BOHEME!
Moby Dick Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moby-dick-tickets-151933917437