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Breathe written and directed by Lucrezia Pollice at Tristan Bates Theatre

Breathe written and directed by Lucrezia Pollice
Breathe written and directed by Lucrezia Pollice

Breathe pans across the struggles of four housemates living in London trying to successfully accomplish their dreams. Personal secrets, fears and dreams emerge as their lives intertwine, revealing the importance of friendship in the face of anxiety and depression. Will they choose security or transform their fears into fuel to conquer their dreams?

A superb play, by a gifted writer, Breathe garnered a 4* review for its successful run at the Lion and Unicorn. The play has now transferred to the West End and opens at the Tristan Bates Theatre on 6th of August, playing until 11th and we talked to writer Lucrezia Pollice.

Q: How do you feel about your debut in the West End?
Lucrezia: Every theatre director will dream of having a show in Central London and I am extremely excited for it to be happening with my first play.

Q: What skills and disciplines have you brought from your training in Opera?
Lucrezia: I see Opera as part of Theatre. My experience as a child performer working in La Scala in Milan taught me the value of discipline, professionalism and patience. I hope to have the opportunity to one day direct Opera.

Q: Can you summarize your creative and writing process?
Lucrezia: I see many millennials confused about their future, some handling it better than others, and wrote the play as a personal hobby to avoid writing my dissertation. After eighteen months, I realised I had a good story and started workshopping it. I did many workshops with actors, presented the play at a scratch night, then R&D at the Young Vic and a rehearsed reading, before the run at the Lion and Unicorn and finally the Tristan Bates Theatre. The script developed over time, informed by audience feedback.

Q: Which one of your characters is most like you?
Lucrezia: The characters are taken from the people who are in my life, I can see parts of me in all of them – I am one quarter of each but identify a lot with the protagonist.

Q: What has changed for the millennial generation?
Lucrezia: Internet and social media, in my opinion, has created a more disconnected society and a society focused on self-image. Additionally, the economy in comparison to the 60s has declined and migration has risen creating higher competition and fewer opportunities. Not to mention that London house prices are especially terrifying at
present.

Q: Why the controversy last time?
Lucrezia: Conventionally the ‘person with issues’ is the victim and everyone is sorry for them. Breathe does not allow Maria to be victimized and surely no one is sorry for her. She is loved by all the characters in the play, who help her and support her. However, they also tell her to take control, take responsibility and do something about her anxiety and depression.

Q: What are your aims in presenting this work?
Lucrezia: I want audiences to understand that issues can be overcome with patience. I wanted to give a voice to all the young people who are not feeling well and provide a positive representation to how friends can help. I presented a piece of my life, of the people around me, who I have seen suffer with different types of addiction and hopefully a piece that many can resonate with.

Q: What play in the last two years do you wish you had written?
Lucrezia: I really enjoyed Plaques and Tangles at the Royal Court by Nicola Wilson and Nightfall at the Bridge Theatre by Barney Norris.

Q: Netflix or nightclub?
Lucrezia: A bit of both – always good to have a balance.

Q: Favorite bar?
Lucrezia: On the beach!

Q: And finally, what’s next for you?
Lucrezia: I am directing a play Taking Liberties on a young woman who is an addict and homeless for the working class new writing festival of Actors Awareness at the Barons Court Theatre. Breathe has been selected for the Voila festival and will be shown in November at the Etcetera Theatre for three nights. Additionally, to working as a freelance practitioner, I am currently looking for assisting directing positions for the upcoming year.

BREATHE CAST
Zoe Templeman-Young
Peter Silva
Olivia Valler-Feltham
Emily Olum

CREATIVE
Director & Filmmaker Lucrezia Pollice
Co-Producers Aretusa Campagnolo and Lucrezia Pollice
Assistant Producer Joanna Woznicka
Assistant & Movement Director Viola Bruni
Sound Designer Beth Duke
Set Designer Reuben Speed
Lighting Designer Sam Thomas
Videographer Beatrice Taylor
Poster Design Daniel Woodfield
Graphic Design Zahra Fontenelle
Animator Norbert Garab
Dramaturg Camila Robinson-Rodriguez

Breathe
6th – 11th August 2018
Run Time: 1 hour
Tristan Bates Theatre
https://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/

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