Trevor Nunn and Imogen Stubbs may be very familiar to London theatregoers, but now their daughter is making a name for herself with an adventurous one-woman show at the Jermyn Street Theatre.
Ellie Nunn, 22, will play six different characters in Bombshells, a fast-paced comedy by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith. The show runs for one week only from 6th to 11th January 2014.
‘I’m thrilled — but also pretty terrified,’ said Ellie. ‘I know that there’ll be no one else on stage to back me up, and that doing the show will be really challenging. But Joanna’s script is absolutely brilliant, and her characters are so human. Playing them is a privilege.’ ‘I never realised until we started rehearsals just how much stamina it would take. I find myself running around in one monologue, acting a breakdown in the next one and then singing and
dancing – and this is all before the interval.’
Bombshells depicts characters at every stage in life – from schoolgirl to senior citizen – but all of them are ‘women on the edge’. It was first written for Caroline O’Connor, who performed it to sell-out houses at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Arts Theatre, West End in 2004. This is the first London revival.
‘When the critics first saw this very funny and very touching collection of monologues, it was put on a par with Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads,’ says director Jack Gamble. ‘But unlike Talking Heads, Bombshells was written for just one actress to perform. It’s as much about her, and about the challenge of the performance, as it is about the individual characters.’
Jack knows that Ellie is up to the challenge. In April this year he cast her as Stella Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, whilst both were still studying at Cambridge University. ‘I remember holding the auditions, Ellie coming in very shyly with a disclaimer about being nervous to play the part, and then her giving the most incredible performance. I couldn’t have done that show without her, and unless I get some very convincing implants, that’s even more true with this one.’
Bombshells is one of four shows Jack is staging with Dippermouth, the theatre company he runs with Quentin Beroud. Their Christmas show Scrooge & Marley is currently playing at the Waterloo East Theatre, and is one of the productions with which they are pioneering Free First Night, a scheme by which students and teachers can come to the theatre for free. Bombshells concludes an exciting first year of work at the Jermyn Street Theatre under its new Artistic Director, Anthony Biggs. Tickets are on sale now.
BOMBSHELLS by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Jack Gamble
Monday 6th – Saturday 11th January 2014
Monday to Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinee 3.30pm
Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6ST
The Jermyn Street Theatre is London’s leading off-West End studio theatre, and The Stage 100 Awards Fringe Theatre of the Year 2012.
Box Office: 020 7287 2875
Find out more about Bombshells at:
Wednesday 11th December 2013