Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Half-Dramaturgy: Natasha Marshall @ Edfringe 2017

London Previews: Sat 29 July, 14:30 and 19:00, Soho Theatre Upstairs Edinburgh: Thu 3 – Sun 27 August (not 14), 12:20 (60mins)

Soho Rising and Talawa Firsts star Natasha Marshall makes her Edinburgh writer / performer premiere with Half-Breed, a one woman partly autobiographical dark comedy about faith in yourself: finding your voice, fighting for what you want and being fearless in who you are.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Loads of things like proving to myself I could ACTUALLY write a play. Speaking up for the voices who can't speak. Proving people wrong who told me my dreams were unrealistic. Writing a strong female role who is her own surveyor and source of faith. Creating a story I have always longed to see on stage, that's real. Half Breed has always lived in me and now feels like the right time to finally speak up, stand for something and speak my truth.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
Yes! I feel I listen more and learn more through watching performances then I ever did in school. No offence to my school! I just feel with performance there are no limits, no filters, there's no right or wrongs and it's very freeing to watch. There's something exciting about that. I truly believe performance/art can shift a generation and change the world. And that's not me living in my hippy happy land, I just don't underestimate the power of performance.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I started as an actress and found myself frustrated with the limiting roles I was playing, which consisted on being the mixed raced girlfriend of a boyfriend in a London gang. I just wished I could play more diverse roles and become less of a stereotype. I love theatre and was really inspired by 'Gods Property' which felt exciting because it was outside the box. I left that show feeling like we need to see more black theatre like this. I realised if you don't right about it then the voice will never be heard .i want to right strong and unique roles for BAME actors to peak up, read and wanna act in because it feels so fresh and exciting.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
 if someone had a gun to your head and said right a play now that will save your life. You wouldn't hold back would you?!!! you'd think CRAP! and go for it. Yes that might seem a tad extreme, but what I'm tryna say is I tried to write Half Breed like my life depended on it. I tried to write the play that was gunna save my life. I'm not gunna lie though, I daydream A LOT and YouTube can be very distracting. But daydreaming is important to because even if its small, I've discovered grate ideas can come from it..... even if it's taken you half a day to get there!

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
This is literally my first play!! so I'm hoping for the best really! Ahh

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I want them to feel moved, I want to open peoples eyes to a different perspective on life, that's real and resonates to the core of yourself. It's such a rare thing when a peace of theatre can do that and it feels very magical whenever I have experienced it, hopefully I can do that to people. I want the play to stimulate discussions that are important and relevant within today's current climate. I want Half Breed to give people hope.  

Growing up mixed race in the West Country, Natasha moved to London to attend Soho Theatre East15 Acting School. During the course Natasha discovered her love for writing poetry and started writing.

After graduating in 2012, Natasha made her Edinburgh Fringe acting debut in Thugz and Tearz where her character died in the first scene. Taking a six month break from it all, Natasha returned to the regions working in loads of different factories (some more depressing than others) before moving back to London to participate in Royal Court Writers.

When asked about premiering Half-Breed in Edinburgh, Natasha said, “This is what I wanted to do with the show but I didn’t think it would be possible. I just know that it’s a Soho show. If I can wake up at 4am in the morning and take two lifts to go and work 12hour days in a factory, I can do Edinburgh. My whole lifeI’ve been holding my breath but when I perform Half-Breed I feel like I’m breathing. I want to bring something real and different to the Fringe. I want to create a conversation, I want to open people’s minds up.”

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