Some Riot Theatre in association with the King’s Head Theatre presents Glitter Punch – written by Lucy Burke and directed by Peter Taylor. Charlotte Salkind is Molly and Hadley Smith is John.
Charlotte joins the production having just finished playing the lead role of Chloe in IVY at Southwark Playhouse. Hadley Smith was in the original production of Glitter Punch.
Charlotte recently took time out to answer a few questions about Glitter Punch.
Q: What, in particular, attracted you to be a part of Glitter Punch?
Charlotte: The quality of the writing. I love how this play resists any kind of moral conclusion and instead challenges ideas about age, consent and power imbalances in sexual relationships. It’s a love story, really. The language of the play is full of poetry, but it’s a really specific poetry that isn’t ever florid – it’s full of quirky images that made me laugh out loud. Also, I love doing two-handers, because you get so much time to work on the detail of that one relationship with the other actor.
Q: Can you tell us about your character Molly and how she sees John?
Charlotte: Molly is such a well-drawn creation – she’s very self-deprecating and quite isolated, but she also suffers from a total inability to shut up. I think when she meets John he’s not remotely like anyone she’s ever met before. So he’s a source of immense fascination – he’s older, and he’s from London, and she finds in him a sensitivity she’s not found in anyone else in her life. It’s an emotional awakening for her as well as a sexual one.
Q: For you, what is at the heart of Glitter Punch?
Charlotte: This is a hard one because it’s such a rich play. For me, I think it’s the celebration of experiences that in hindsight are reckless or even doomed. I don’t think Molly really regrets her experience, because while it lasted it was thrilling and opened up the parameters of her world. I don’t know if that’s what Lucy was thinking when she wrote it, but it’s an idea I find in the play and one that I’m drawn to – that something doesn’t have to be permanent to be valuable, that something can end in a way that’s devastating and still be valuable.
Q: Is Glitter Punch also a journey for you?
Charlotte: Definitely. It’s going to be a challenge to tap into the kind of naivety and innocence that Molly has because at her age I was quite precocious and a bit of a dick. For me as a performer also, it’s going to be scary and exhilarating because so much of it is direct address from me to the audience. There’s no hiding.
Q: Can you tell us some more about Molly and her life?
Charlotte: The geographical and social background of the play is very important as this part of Salford is pretty much all Molly’s ever known. She’s never been on holiday, and until she meets John, her life consists of home, college, occasionally the pub. So much of John’s otherness – and therefore his fascination for Molly – comes from the fact that he’s from elsewhere, that he ‘talks posh’, that he’s travelled to other places. I love how the play gives a voice to this working class girl whom many of the adults in her life have ignored until now. I love that it presents her with so much sensitivity and also real intelligence, which she doesn’t have the means to express and which has therefore often been overlooked by those around her.
Q: What do you enjoy most about performing in venues with the audience up-close?
Charlotte: It’s my favourite kind of venue to perform in. Particularly for something like this, where I speak directly to the audience, because I hope it’ll mean I’ll be able to really talk to them, rather than vaguely ‘at’ them which can be horrible. Having the audience so close makes my job much easier as it gives you something unavoidably different to work off each night. I’ll also be able to kick anyone in the front row who checks their watch.
Q: Why should everyone get along to see Glitter Punch?
Charlotte: It’s just one of the best and most original plays I’ve come across in a long time. 16-year-old Molly wants to escape her dreary college existence, her over-worked mother and alcoholic stepfather. When she collides with the mysterious John, the two embark on a journey of forbidden love, pushing the boundaries of conventional romance and forcing us to question how far we would really go for the one we love.
16-year-old Molly wants to escape her dreary college existence, her over-worked mother and alcoholic stepfather. When she collides with the mysterious John, the two embark on a journey of forbidden love, pushing the boundaries of conventional romance and forcing us to question how far we would really go for the one we love.
At its heart, Glitter Punch is a coming of age tale about the search for love and belonging. However, through Molly’s eyes, we experience but also question her perspective on the developing relationship with John, as issues of consent and grooming begin to emerge.
Performances from the 8th-25th February
The Kings Head Theatre
115 Upper St, London N1 1QN