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Interview with Helen Rose-Hampton from Virgins Die Horny

Virgins Die Horny PosterHelen has been on stage in London and New York after training at American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Actors Temple in London and Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles. Katie plays the role of Katie in Virgins Die Horny, which premieres at London’s Courtyard Theatre October 2014.

Helen recently took time out to chat about herself and Virgins Die Horny.

You have trained and performed on stage in the US and in England. How would you compare theatre in the two countries?
I would say that New York compared to the UK is very much the same, but having had experience working in LA, that is quite different. On the stage it will be much the same anywhere, but the main difference is that the casting directors and agents are a lot more open to you in LA, where you can drop in and have a coffee and a chat, whereas in London it isn’t like that. So that is quite a refreshing difference.

You have performed in several Shakespeare plays – do you have a favourite role and why?
Lady Macbeth definitely. I think everybody has every kind of emotion and personality inside of them, and is capable of doing anything that you need to do. As an actor you have to justify “why would I do that?” – to justify killing, is a real exploration and discovery of yourself.

Is there a particular Shakespeare role that you would really like to play and where?
Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. I would love to play her, she is just so vulnerable on the inside, but she has many layers. She is very strong and opinionated, but underneath she is like a little girl, I love that character.

Where would you like to play the role?
The Globe, The Old Vic or Theatre in The Park. I really like what they are doing at the Old Vic at the moment, with blank canvas type of productions.

Which is your favourite stage role to date? If not already mentioned?
Mainly because I am playing her at the moment, I would have to say Katie in Virgins Die Horny.

As well as the stage, you have also appeared in films and commercials. What do you enjoy most about screen work?
It is often the case when someone gives you a script, the first take is the best one. On screen, when you have done that, it is in the can. In theatre, you have to think how did I feel and what did myself and my partner say or do to make it right for that performance, and try to recapture that?

What do you enjoy most about being on stage?
When you come to the theatre each night, you are bringing the whole day with you, which is changing you emotionally, and although your character has the same needs and desires, they can be coming from a completely different place. So that is the best part of it.

What attracted you to be in Virgins Die Horny?
Well, apart from the title. I always say to people that you have to live every day as if it is your last day, and you have to try everything, and that is what the play is about. It is about living for today and being honest with how you feel. So the idea that you have to experience everything and have a go at everything.

You play the role of Katie – what can you tell us about her?
She is very strong, with an incredible vulnerability underneath, which she struggles to hide. She is fragile and loving, and very juxtaposition of all emotions. She is everything you want her to be and don’t want her to be, all on the surface, while struggling to pretend that she isn’t. A very complex character.

Virgins Die Horny was written by Sal Cesare over 20 years ago – when is it set and have you had to change anything to ‘bring it up to date’?
He wrote it while in a bar in New York. When he tells us about when he was writing the characters, you immediately get transported to this bar and you can see it in your mind. It doesn’t need to be dated, as it is about human relationships.

What is at the heart of Virgins Die Horny?
Conflict. But the conflict is borne out of love. There are people jostling for power, and also giving the idea that these four people are a family, but not the ordinary idea of a family. Each of them are trying to carve out their own role.

Is the play a comedy, a drama, a tragedy?
There is comedy, dramatic and tragic, so you get all of those. Three for the price of one, it has everything.

What would you say to someone to entice them to come along to see it?
I find it rare that you get to see ‘moments’ between people on a stage, something that can change you emotionally from when you went into the theatre. That is what this does, it makes you think, and it makes you laugh and cry.

Interview by Neil Cheesman
Follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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Virgins Die Horny: A Play By Sal Cesare
Virgins Die Horny is a provocative, funny, and terrifying story of Katie, a 38-year old woman, who has just gotten married for the third time in ten years. The play opens on her honeymoon night, where we get to know Katie and her new husband, James, twelve years her junior.

Half way through the first act, Jimmy, her second husband crashes the honeymoon, drunk and suicidal. Jimmy, holds her and her new husband, James, hostage by threatening to detonate the dynamite that he has sown into an orange life jacket that he is wearing under his coat. Meanwhile, Jimmy has secretly arranged for Jamie, Katie’s first husband to join them as well.

So by the end of the first act, poor Katie finds herself held hostage on her honeymoon with all three of her husbands – past and present! The second act is a terrifying and sometimes funny tour de force that builds to the reluctant disclosure of a carefully kept and devastating secret that all three husbands have agreed to keep from Katie. Events late in the second act, dictate that this secret must be told, regardless of the chilling consequences.

Written and Directed by Sal Cesare, Virgins Die Horny is presented by Selectwork Productions with a stellar cast featuring: Helen Rose-Hampton, Henry Rylands, Romanos Kassimis, Neil Hobbs and Alex Roseman.

Virgins Die Horny
The Courtyard Theatre
28th October 2014 to 16th November 2014 – 7.30pm
http://www.thecourtyard.org.uk/whatson/

Saturday 11th October 2014

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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