Home » London Theatre News » Q&A with Laura Jane Matthewson – Orpheus Descending

Q&A with Laura Jane Matthewson – Orpheus Descending

Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma). Photo by Johan Persson.
Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma). Photo by Johan Persson.

Tamara Harvey’s production of Orpheus Descending opens at Theatr Clwyd this month (15th – 27th April 2019) ahead of performances at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 9th May – 6th July 2019.

Theatr Clwyd’s Artistic Director Tamara Harvey directs Catrin Aaron (Beulah Binnings), Michael Geary (Pee Wee Binnings), Valentine Hanson (Uncle Pleasant), Jenny Livsey (Eva Temple / Woman), Laura Jane Matthewson (Dolly Hamma), Mark Meadows (Jabe Torrance), Ifan Meredith (David Cutrere / Dog Hamma), Hattie Morahan (Lady Torrance), Seth Numrich (Val Xavier), Ian Porter (Sheriff Talbott), Jemima Rooper (Carol Cutrere), Carol Royle (Vee Talbott) and Carrie Quinlan (Sister / Nurse Porter). Public booking for the Menier Chocolate Factory dates opens at 9am today.

Lady is trapped in a loveless marriage, surrounded by intolerant people, living a boring small-town life. But when a wild-eyed charismatic drifter appears a new life of love and passion suddenly seem possible. Everything will change as certainty, conformity and tradition are ripped apart.

Laura Jane Matthewson plays Dolly Hamma.

Q: What were your first thoughts about being cast in Orpheus Descending?
Laura: I was totally thrilled to have the chance to do a Tennessee Williams play because his writing is such a gift and a challenge! I was also excited to work with the fantastic team at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Theatr Clwyd (that Tamara Harvey is a bit brilliant isn’t she..?).

Q: Can you tell us about the character you are playing and how they fit into the storyline?
Laura: I play Dolly Hamma, a young, impressionable woman who has recently moved to Two River County with her husband and is desperate to fit in with the tight-knit community. She thrives on scandal and local gossip.

Q: What is at the heart of the story?
Laura: It’s about loneliness, lust, and the way that humans can respond to ‘outsiders’ or people who are different from them.

Q: Why should everyone get along to see this production?
Laura: It’s powerful and poetic, and the cast are just phenomenal – I’ve already witnessed some magic moments in the rehearsal room. It’s a real privilege to be working with such a talented bunch.

Laura Jane Matthewson’s theatre work includes Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing (Live Theatre), The World Goes ‘Round (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Beyond the Fence (Arts Theatre), Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse – winner of 2014 Evening Standard Award for Best Emerging Talent), Daisy Pulls It Off (Hever Festival) and After the Tone (Bridewell Theatre). Her television work includes Vera, Press and Dark Angel.

A Theatr Clwyd and Menier Chocolate Factory co-production
by Tennessee Williams 

Director: Tamara Harvey; Designer: Jonathan Fensom; Lighting Designer: Tim Mascall; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke; Composer: Simon Slater

Listings Theatr Clwyd
Theatr Clwyd, Anthony Hopkins Theatre
Raikes Lane, Mold CH7 1YA
Dates: 15 – 27 April
Box Office: 01352 701521
Tickets From £10

Listings Menier Chocolate Factory
Menier Chocolate Factory
53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Press performance:  15 May at 8pm
Dates:  9 May – 6 July 2019


  • 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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