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Q&A with Kwaku Mills from the cast of Candida, Orange Tree Theatre

Kwaku Mills - Photo by Johan Persson.
Kwaku Mills – Photo by Johan Persson.

Bernard Shaw’s Candida, directed by Paul Miller opens at the Orange Tree Theatre on 26th November, running through to 11th January 2020. Martin Hutson, Claire Lams, Sarah Middleton, Kwaku Mills, Joseph Potter and Michael Simkins will appear in Artistic Director Paul Miller’s rare revival of Bernard Shaw’s early comedy CANDIDA.

Eugene believes in love, free-thinking and liberation: James in social justice for all and conventional married life for himself. Candida believes in her own strength and her right to run her life as she wants.

Read our Q&A with Kwaku Mills

Q: What were your first thoughts when being cast for the play?
Kwaku: I was really excited to be cast in Candida. It’s the first Bernard Shaw play I’ve been in and also the first period piece I’ve worked on. 

Q: Were you familiar with Shaw’s Candida and what thoughts on the script?
Kwaku: I’d studied a few of Shaw’s plays at drama school, and seen various productions of his other plays, but wasn’t really familiar with Candida. I was surprised by the central concept the play takes a very candid (no pun intended) look at a Victorian marriage and in doing so feels quite modern.

Q: Can you tell us about your character, Rev Alexander Mill?
Kwaku: ‘Lexy’ is a young curate who has recently graduated from Oxford University. He assists Candida’s husband Rev James Morrell. He’s incredibly eager, but somewhat incompetent, which leads him to often put his foot in his mouth with the other characters. 

Q: What is at the heart of the play?
Kwaku: I think that at the heart of the play is a very incisive exploration of gender roles. Through the character of Candida we see a Victorian woman navigate the roles of wife/mother versus that of lover. The play explores the quite groundbreaking idea that she might have control over which role (if any) she decides to adopt.

Q: Written in 1894 – how has this play stood the test of time?
Kwaku: The central exploration of a marriage feels incredibly modern. I think marriage as an ‘institution’ is still something we put under the microscope today. How should modern marriage work, is it still necessary, how is gender expressed within it? All these questions are considered in the play and still asked to this day. 

Q: Can you tell us about this particular production?
Kwaku: This production keeps the setting to the end of the 19th Century, but we’ve stripped back some of the ‘period business’, instead simply focusing on the, quite complex, psychologies of the characters and their interactions.

Q: Why should this be a must-see comedy for theatregoers?
Kwaku: It’s a bright, witty, thrillingly passionate, joyously daring play.

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Kwaku Mills’ theatre credits includes Dark Sublime (Trafalgar Studios); Good Dog (Tiata Fahodzi); The End of Eddy (Unicorn Theatre/Untitled Project). TV includes Urban Myths: The Trial of Joan Collins.

An Orange Tree Theatre production
CANDIDA
by Bernard Shaw
Cast Martin Hutson, Claire Lams, Sarah Middleton, Kwaku Mills, Joseph Potter and Michael
Simkins
Direction Paul Miller
Design Simon Daw
Lighting Mark Doubleday
Sound & Composition Elizabeth Purnell
Casting Vicky Richardson & Sarah Murray

CANDIDA
by Bernard Shaw
22 November 2019 — 11 January 2020
https://www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk/

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