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Q&A with Tanya Cubric – Trade at Omnibus Theatre

Trade is part of 11 shows that have relocated to Omnibus Theatre following the cancellation of the VAULT Festival. The production is a thought-provoking, unflinching new play exploring morality and power within the European sex-trafficking industry.

Cast of Trade. Credit Trade the play
Cast of Trade. Credit Trade the play.

Directed by Maddy Corner the cast is Tanya Cubric (Jana), Ojan Genc (Stefan/Nikola) and Eleanor Roberts (Katarina/Elena). Set in Serbia, Bosnia and the UK, Trade is a thought-provoking, unflinching new play exploring morality and power within the European sex-trafficking industry.

Read our Q&A with Tanya Cubric.

Q: What made you want to be a part of Ella Dorman-Gajic’s Trade?
Tanya: I just loved Ella’s script! Her writing has so much rhythm and pace to it which carries the heavy themes that the play explores… it almost seems effortless…?! She also just isn’t scared of taking the audience to some really uncomfortable places but always with dashes of humour and lightness of touch.. & she just never lets you off the hook… which I find exciting.

Q: What is at the heart of the production?
Tanya: It’s a rollercoaster 60-minute production that invites the audience into a split second memory flashback of a woman during a police raid. Her memory takes us from Belgrade right at the end of NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to Noughties London where her traffickers have brought her. Through the various characters you encounter and Jana’s actions it questions the concept of ‘the perfect victim’.

Q: Can you tell us about your character Jana?
Tanya: I like to compare Jana to Logan from Succession. No matter what happens to her or what she does she never looks back, only forward. She grabs the opportunity that’s in front of her and thinks later. She’s just always looking at for next move… it can get her into difficult situations but I would argue is a hell of a survival tactic. She is also just so relatable and multifaceted. I hope she feels real to people and that they see parts of themselves in her that they didn’t expect. That would be great.

Q: Trade ‘puts a brutal underground world centre stage.’ – How can Trade be the catalyst for raising public awareness and action?
Tanya: I’m not sure if plays can on their own be catalysts for action… awareness perhaps…opening some questions about your prejudices maybe…but only for people who are open to having their views questioned in the first place…

Q: How emotional draining is it to perform in a production like Trade? And how do you detach yourself back to ‘everyday’ life?
Tanya: Oh, it’s a huge privilege to be performing in a production like this with such an incredible and supportive creative team… any emotional or physical tax you pay is outweighed by that.

Q: Why should everyone get along to see Trade?
Tanya: All of the above! It’s genuinely just a really exhilarating ride that will make you laugh, cry and make you feel maybe a bit uncomfortable in your seat at times?

Q: Trade is at the Omnibus Theatre for a short run in February – what next for you in 2022?
Tanya: I’m taking a holiday and then we’ll see! It’s looking like a longer run might be a possibility so fingers crossed for that…

Omnibus Theatre
1 Clapham Common North Side, London SW4 0QW
15 – 19 February 2022


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