Gabrielle MacPherson is writer and performer of Minty Fresh Productions’ world première of Outside, directed by Laurel Marks. We chatted to the playwright and performer about the piece, theatre heroes and what play changed her life.
Please tell us about your current project Outside, what inspired you to create the piece?
Outside is a psychological thriller about the first time Willa has left her house on her own in 30 years. It’s not for the faint hearted! I was inspired to write Outside because of all the people who fall through the cracks of society due to lack of support and asked myself the question – is revenge ever justified?
You’ll also be performing the play, what made you decide to take on the role of Willa?
Willa has lived in my head for 8 years; she feels like a scary little sister to me and I feel like I know her quite well even though sometimes I might not want to.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to watch Outside?
Come and spend an hour with Willa and hear her story, it’s delightfully frightening and unnerving but let’s get to the bottom of why she is the way she is, together!
How did you become a writer?
I have worked in The Arts for many years, immersing myself with any aspect I can. I started trying to write plays when I was very young and fell in love with it so have continued to try to this day. Hopefully I’m better than when I was 21 years old!
What’s the first hook that gets a new play started for you? Is it an image, a theme or a character?
Outside is special because it was born from two things, it started with an image of Willa dancing on table and grew from there. I often start with an image and explore what excites me about it, it often changes and moulds over the long time I work on a play.
What play changed your life?
Emilia by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Directed by Nicole Charles. I was lucky enough to see if at Shakespeare’s Globe with one of my best friends. The feeling of community and shared experience and understanding throughout was like nothing I have ever experienced before. The whole audience laughed, shouted and cried.
You’ve made the transition from stage to writing how do you stay focused?
Throughout the last year and a half it was quite easy as I had a lot of time on my hands but before that and more recently, I really rely on my trusty diary and lists, my room is full of post it notes with lots of lists on!
What kind of theatre excites you?
Theatre that doesn’t relent. Bold choices, exciting characters and stories that leave you questioning the world and inspired to change it!
What advice would you give to aspiring talent in the industry?
Read plays and see theatre! There is such a wealth of talent and knowledge at our fingertips we should celebrate the brilliant people who are creating right now.
Who are your theatrical heroes?
There are so many!
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, debbie tucker green and Frantic Assembly
11. Where can people follow you on socials?
@gabriellemacph on Twitter.
Outside will be at The Rosemary Branch Theatre on 18-20 November tickets available now.