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Interview with Laura Pitt-Pulford – The Grönholm Method

The Gronholm Method, Menier Chocolate Factory. Laura Pitt-Pulford and BT McNicholl. Credit Manuel Harlan
The Gronholm Method, Menier Chocolate Factory. Laura Pitt-Pulford and BT McNicholl. Credit Manuel Harlan

The UK première of The Grönholm Method is at The Menier Chocolate Factory with previews from 10th May, opening on 22nd May and running through to 7th July 2018. Making his UK directorial debut, BT McNicholl directs Jonathan Cake (Frank), Greg McHugh (Carl), Laura Pitt-Pulford (Melanie) and John Gordon Sinclair (Rick).

Set in the offices of a New York City Fortune 500 company, 4 unsuspecting candidates embark on the most testing job interview of their lives. This taut play – which premièred in Barcelona in 2003 to great critical acclaim, exposes the psychological depths people will go to in order to get what they want.
In our age of reality TV game shows and tweeting US presidents, The Grönholm Method explores the human capacity to manipulate, lie and ‘play the game’ to get ahead in life.

Laura Pitt-Pulford chats to LondonTheatre1 about The Grönholm Method.

Q: What were your first thoughts about being cast in The Grönholm Method?
Laura: Are you sure they were meant to call me?! 😉
No, joking aside I was absolutely thrilled. I was really wanting to do another play. It’s so lovely as an actress to have the chance to crossover with plays and musicals (as it should be).

Q: Can you give us an insight into the cast & creative team?
Laura: We have a cast of exceptional actors who are proving a complete joy to rehearse with. The wonderful John Gordon Sinclair, Greg McHugh and Jonathan Cake. They are all incredibly experienced actors so I feel in fine company. Our director, BT McNicholls has luckily directed the piece before so we feel in very safe hands.

Q: Can you tell us about your character Melanie?
Laura: Melanie is a high-end businesswoman who is very good at her job. She definitely knows how to stand up for herself in a boardroom and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Q: How do you go about getting into your character when learning your lines?
Laura: By learning my lines I start to untangle my character more and more. I get very bored learning lines so I make it an exercise in really breaking them down and discovering who the character is.

Q: What is at the heart of the storyline?
Laura: This piece deals with how scary and often inhumane the corporate world can be. When you’re hungry for success, how far will you really go?! Those pressures and goals can often push us to ugly places where all decent morals can very quickly disappear. Then what?!

Q: This is a UK premiere of The Grönholm Method – how important is that to you?
Laura: It’s more thrilling than important. It’s always lovely to be the UK premiere version of something. You know that most people will probably never have seen it before and are therefore going to be discovering it for the first time through fresh eyes. Not knowing what to expect. The same goes for us as actors. It can be completely our take on the characters without comparison to anyone else who may have played it before.

Q: Do you have a ‘daily routine’ when performing in a production?
Laura: The thing is, when you work in theatre your whole day is usually unknowingly prepped towards your show. I always try to do some exercise within the day as it gets me focused and present. I don’t have an actual routine though until I get into the theatre and then I become a creature of habit and those couple of hours leading up to the show will be all about getting myself ready physically, vocally and mentally.

Q: Away from the stage, what do you like to do to chill out?
Laura: I love getting in the car and driving out of London and finding a remote part of the countryside to walk in. I do a lot of my thinking there. I also love the cinema. It’s true escapism for me along with settling down with a good book.

Q: Why should everyone get along to see The Grönholm Method?
Laura: If you like being kept on your toes then you’ll love it. This piece moves at such a pace and is packed with twists and turns in every direction. It’s incredibly witty and by the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve experienced as much as the actors have. Plus it’s only 90 minutes long, straight through.

*******

Laura Pitt-Pulford plays Melanie. She returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory having performed in their recent production of Barnum. Other theatre credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical), Nell Gwynn (ETT & Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, UK tour), Platinum (Hampstead Theatre), Side Show, Mack and Mabel, Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Flowers or Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Oliver!, The Sound of Music, Piaf, Hello Dolly! (Curve), The Smallest Show on Earth (UK tour), The Return of the Soldier (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Light Princess (National Theatre), A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse), Sweet Charity (Belfast MAC), The Little Prince (Lyric Belfast) and Guys and Dolls (Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Clwyd Theatre and Salisbury Playhouse). For television, her work includes Father Brown and Free Rein.

The UK première of
THE GRÖNHOLM METHOD
By Jordi Galceran
in a translation by Anne García-Romero and Mark St. Germain
Direction: BT McNicholl; Set & Costume Design: Tim Hatley
Lighting Design: Howard Harrison; Sound Design: Gregory Clarke

Menier Chocolate Factory
53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Press performance:  22nd May at 8pm
Dates:  10th May – 7th July 2018
www.menierchocolatefactory.com

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  • 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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