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Cuddly teenage vampires

17 May 2013 | Tom Hunter

Meet the stars of Cuddles, Ovalhouse's new show about Eve, the teenage vampire.

Meet Eve. She is 13. She is a vampire. And she lives her life thorugh her (human) sister. A teenage vampire tale with a twist, Cuddles is a darkly comic show is currently showing at Ovalhouse. We caught up with two stars from the show, Rendah Heywood who plays Tabby and Carla Langley who plays Eve to find out a bit more about it…

 

London Calling: Tell us about Cuddles…

Rendah Heywood: It's a dark, disturbing and blackly funny story about Vampires on one level and a warning tale about consumerism on another.
Carla Langley: Well to me Cuddles is a very dark, intense play but with lots of humour. I think it's very different to any play I've ever read or been in, and to be honest that's why it has been so greatly received! It's fresh and new and because of its brilliant writing, an unusual situation makes a lot of sense and an audience can still empathise with it.

 

LC:  What are the main challenges of the play?

RH: Telling the story of a 13 year old girl who has never left her attic bedroom is quite challenging and the relationship between the two characters is unconventional to say the least!
CL: For me the main challenges of the play were finding the absolute truth at the core of the character of Eve. The only way to make the performance believable was to engage and understand what it would actually be like to in her situation! This was difficult but I enjoyed working on it and it was fun and very interesting!


LC:  How did you approach the relationship at the heart of the story?

RH: We spent a lot of time working out what had happened in Tabby and Eve's lives prior to the    beginning of the play. That all greatly informed how their relationship grew into what it is.
CL: I approached the relationship in the most truthful manner that I could. I had to look at it like it was completely normal because Eve did not know anything else other than what is in the play. I had to not judge anything that her Tabby said or did and look at it like a relationship that could actually exist. That way I found it easier and helpful when it came to the emotional scenes with higher stakes.


LC:  Given the popularity of vampire stories in other media we’re surprised there isn’t more theatre being made with horror / fantasy themes. Is there some implicit snobbery towards genre stories in theatreland do you think, and if so might this play appeal more to people who are new to the theatre?

RH: I hope the play will appeal to a younger theatre audience, not necessarily because of the vampire theme but because it is a raw and vibrant piece of writing. But yes, there's not much Vampire theatre work going on out there! Who doesn't like blood-drinking teenagers? More of them on the London stage would be a marvellous thing.
CL: I think people would be surprised at how much they'd like this show! It's got a bit of everything in it whether you like horror, comedy or new writing. It seems like it could just be typical 'vampire' story, but it's not. It's so much more engaging and clever.

 

LC:  What do you hope the audience will take away from the show?

RH: A taste for jam sandwiches and a shiver.
CL: I hope they'll take away an understanding of Eve and Tabby's world and enjoyment from the humour. I hope they will be affected by each character and be able to discuss the different meanings within the story.

 

LC:  And finally, would you come back for a sequel?

RH: In a heartbeat!
CL: Yes!!! Absolutely!

 

Cuddles is currently showing at Ovalhouse 14 May - 1 June. Book tickets here.

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