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Interview with Ashley Winter from Attila Theatre

Ashley Winter
Ashley Winter

Attila Theatre’s ‘stylish ensemble show’ returns for Reading and Camden Fringe Festivals. After a sell-out run at London Horror Festival, Skin Deep is back – at The Lion and Unicorn from 31st July- 6th August.

Myth. Matriarch. Murderer. Erzsébet Báthory was one of the most powerful women in sixteenth century Europe; heir to a powerful dynasty, wife of a decorated war-hero and countess of a vast fortune. She later became a sadistic serial killer – allegedly killing nearly 600 hundred young women in cold blood.

Ashley Winter plays the role of Erzsébet and Ashley recently took time out to answer a few questions about Attila Theatre and Skin Deep.

Q: What can you tell us about Attila Theatre?
Ashley: Christopher Montague (co-AD of Attila) and I met at the University of Reading whilst studying Film & Theatre. Honestly, we didn’t have a very clear idea of the work we wanted to produce at that point- it has really evolved through the shows we’ve made so far and what is becoming clearer is that we like to tell stories about women in traditionally male realms.

Q: Skin Deep is at the Camden Fringe Festival. Can you tell us about the production?
Ashley: Skin Deep is the origin story of real-life historical figure Erzsébet Báthory – branded the world’s most prolific female serial killer. We explore her childhood, marriage to soldier Ferenc Nadasdy and the events that led to her very first murder. We combine taught dialogue with physical interludes using a female heavy cast. It might be set in the 1500’s but we’ve injected a very fresh, contemporary feel to the production – no stuffy dialogue that’s going to send you to sleep!

Q: Can you tell us about your character and how she fits into the storyline?
Ashley: I play Erzsébet. She’s introduced as a tomboyish eleven-year-old and we see her grow into a murderous countess. The story in some ways revolves around her, but through her we get to peek into the lives of all of the characters and how the context of their lives constrains them all and binds them together.

Q: What next for you after Skin Deep?
Ashley: In terms of Attila – We have a project called Another Castle a play about mental health and computer games that has been cooking inside our heads for a while, which will hopefully be going into an R&D period soon. In non-Attila work, I’ll be performing in Othello and going into HMP Swaleside with the Pros & Cons project which I’m really excited about.

Q: Do you have any role models that you aspire to be like?
Ashley Really any women who are working in theatre right now. The entire industry is such a boy’s club and I’m constantly inspired by women making work whether they are artistic directors of theatres or my peers creating their first shows. I’m a big cheerleader of women in the arts!

Q: Any production/role that you would love to be involved in?
Ashley: Literally anything directed by Vicky Featherstone. The woman is a genius.

Q: Away from the stage what do you like to do to chill out?
Ashley: I don’t get a lot of time to chill to be honest! But I love reading, computer games and visiting exotic places!

*****

SKIN DEEP: Camden Fringe Festival
Sexuality. Faith. Power. New Play Explores What Drove One Of History’s Most Prolific & Blood Thirsty Female Serial Killers To Murder

AUTHOR Lee Anderson
DIRECTOR Chris Montague & Ailin Conant
https://www.attilatheatre.co.uk/
The Lion and Unicorn
42-44 Gaisford St, Kentish Town NW5 2ED
31st July – 6th August TIME: 9:15pm
DURATION: Aprox 60 mins (no interval)
http://www.lionandunicorntheatre.co.uk/

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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