We asked Tanya Santini McClleland about her new theatre production with the Gibraltar Academy of Drama and the Performing Arts (GAMPA).
1. What are the main themes of Befriending Bertha in your opinion?
The main themes are friendship, how we make friends and how our friendships can transform our world. The play also explores the power of our imagination and how the characters use it as an escape from reality.
2. What were the challenges of producing this play with these young actors?
The play only has three main characters, therefore it is a challenge for the actors who need to drive the play forward by themselves without the support of a bigger cast. They have worked very hard in keeping the energy and pace throughout and learning a whole script at a young age.
3. Does this play depict the sort of family and social pressures children live through in Gibraltar during this day and age?
The play is not set in any specific location or time but it does touch on the pressure children feel to fit in. In terms of the plot we have stayed quite close to the original interpretation.
4. What makes this play unique compared to other productions of it?
We have two actors playing the role of Pink, one one each night. This decision was taken as we always want to give as many students as possible the opportunity to perform and both girls suited the part. As a director is is very interesting to see two different actors portray the same role but each bring their own style of interpretation and give their unique performance.
5. Where is the play acted out and what dynamics does it offer?
The play is being performed at The Magazine Studio Theatre at 63 Flat Bastion Road which is a lovely setting in which the audience can really feel they are part of these character’s world.
6. Do you plan to present further plays at the Drama Festival in March?
Yes, we have a number of plays we are entering for the Drama Festival. We will have our youngest students to our eldest involved. The festival is a fantastic opportunity for all our acting students to get involved.
After yesterday evening, there will be another chance to view this play at Flat Bastion Road tonight (Wednesday 13 February) at 8pm. Get a video preview of the production here buy tickets online or at the door.