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This Is Living: Interview with Michael Socha and Tamla Kari

10 May 2016 | Tom Faber

After a wildly successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Liam Borrett’s award-winning play ‘This Is Living’ is coming to London’s Trafalgar Studios. The play is the story of a domestic dispute with a twist - only one of the pair is alive. We caught up with its two stars, Michael Socha (Being Human, This is England) and Tamla Kari (The Musketeers).

London Calling: How are rehearsals going?

Tamla Kari: I’m a bit scared.

LC: Why?

Michael Socha: Because people watch you! You better be good on the night. On telly you can just screw up and start again - here you can’t. You just have to get yourself out of the mess.

LC: Haven’t you both done theatre before?

TK: There’s a short amount of rehearsal time and it’s a two-hander. There’s no time off during the play. It’s wordy and gruelling - not a jolly one. I haven’t been in the theatre for over a year and - although I love it - it’s a scary prospect to be here again.

MS: It’s been nearly ten years for me. But I made the decision to do this play because I love the writing. It’s a great script.

LC: Is it an advantage to have the same person writing and directing the play?

MS: He knows what he wants so you can’t really argue with it.

TK: It’s difficult as well. It’s a blessing to have the writer in the room because you can ask him if you don’t understand something. But sometimes if you don’t like something you can’t really say so.

LC: Can you tell me about the underwater imagery in the trailer?

TK: The play opens with my character who has drowned. I play a dead woman. The whole play is set in water. The couple have a daughter who also ends up in the river but she doesn’t drown.

LC: Michael - with this, Being Human and Aliens, you seem to be cast in a lot of supernatural shows and roles. Is that a particular interest of yours?

MS: I’m not really a scifi or fantasy fan but that’s what I’m being offered. Since I started I think I really am getting into the genre now. When I started I’ve always played chavs, quite raw performances like This Is England. As I’ve grown up I’ve started to get werewolves, one of Robin Hood’s men or the knave of hearts. I love playing these parts, they’re so out of the ordinary.

LC: Tamla, you’ve been in The Musketeers recently. How does it feel to have finished that?

TK: We finished filming series three at the end of last year which is out mid-May, and this is my first role since then. I’m really happy to be back in the theatre after doing TV for three years. Although I’m terrified, I do love being on stage. After this I go into another production straight after, a Terence Rattigan play. It’ll be nice to go from this to something entirely different.

LC: You used to dance, right?

TK: I danced until I was about 20, then I went to drama school. We did dance as part of our training but not seriously. At one point I wanted to carry on dancing but honestly I wasn’t good enough and I was too old. So I’m back to playing a ghost from Yorkshire.

This Is Living is showing at Trafalgar Studios from 17th May - 11th June.

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