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         WORDPLAY: Fifteen illuminating and informative questions

         Our guest this month: Kerry Gooderson

 

            by Richard Braine

 

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Kerry Gooderson is one of those actors who have the ability to take your breath away. She really is a theatrical treasure who deserves to have a lot more recognition than she gets. Perhaps her turn as Beth Ives in ‘The Watching’ at the White Bear Theatre will nudge her into all our consciousness.

 

Her Stage credits are pretty impressive: Fleance at Shakespeare’s Globe, Marnie in ‘Muddy Waters’ at the Orange Tree and Nell in ‘Vol-au-vent’ at Theatre 503, amongst many others. Her work on the Radio is simply stunning, with Nerissa in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Cecily Cardew in ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ and Isabella Linton in ‘Wuthering Heights’.

 

1.When did you first Act? And what was it?

It was as a heavily bespectacled Virgin Mary in the school nativity play. But my first significant acting was at University. This was Lady Macbeth in the grounds of Newcastle Castle. I realised then I just loved performing.

 

2.What or who was your greatest inspiration?

Jim Carey. I think he is a comedy genius. Yet his straight roles are harrowingly honest, as in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.

 

3.What professional training have you had? Do you think it was relevant?

I would have loved to go to Drama school, after graduating from Newcastle University, but I just couldn’t afford it.  I do believe if you have the raw ability and a genuine instinct for story-telling you can be a very good actor.

 

4.What has been your favourite part/play/production etc?

On stage, without a doubt ‘Macbeth’ at the Globe. My favourite part on Radio has to be Cecily in ‘The Importance of being Earnest’.

 

5.What has been the most wonderful thing you’ve seen on the pub theatre circuit?

I saw ‘No Place for a Woman’ at the Theatre 503 in 2017. It was a phenomenal piece with two wonderfully dark and complex female characters. And Kate Budgen directed it beautifully. You felt almost caged in like the characters.

 

6.Pub theatre is having something of a renaissance. Why do think this is?

Pub theatre provides a rare opportunity to put a play on quickly and with a great cast. And whilst the West End is dominated by big ticket productions, with pub theatre you can see a brilliant play for £10-15. Our upcoming production ‘The Watching’ will have been written, cast, rehearsed and produced in the space of 2 months.

 

7.Where would you like to be in ten years time?

I would be happy being in good thought-provoking pieces. I’d love to have worked at venues like the Almeida and The Royal Court. Perhaps I will have produced my TV Comedy series that I have written. And if none of this happens you’ll find me in Devon running a glamping site!

 

8.Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know?

Every time I see a miniature horse I want to squeeze it. I don’t go in for cute things. I’m not a girly girl but if I see a tiny horse I lose my tiny mind.

 

9.What is the song that most moves you?

‘What He Wrote’ by Laura Marling.

 

10.Musical, comedy, drama? What would you choose?

If I could only do one for the rest of my life, it would be comedy! I think making people laugh is one of the most incredible feelings in the world. A shared moment of pure joy!

 

11.The crime you would carry out if you could get away with it?

I think I’d like to rob the big banks in a technological heist of epic proportions, but I can’t bend my head around Microsoft Excel. Maybe if I outsource it to someone born after 1990 I might pull it off. I’d use it to bankroll opportunities for writers and actors, fund community projects and support the East Asian acting community.

 

12.The happiest moment of your life?

The three days after our wedding spent in a cabin in a remote part of North Devon, happiest I’ve ever been

 

13.The saddest moment of your life?

When I was 8 I got sent to boarding school on an Army scholarship. My parents had implemented a propaganda campaign of Russian proportions, feeding me Enid Blyton and Narnia books. I thought it was going to be lashings of ginger beer and midnight feasts, turns out boarding school’s pretty grim for a Northern lass with beige plaster over her NHS glasses!

 

14.What historical figures would you invite to a dinner party?

Hedy Lamar – because she was an actress, but she also invented so many incredible things like Bluetooth. She was the ultimate all-rounder, Anne Boleyn for the scandal, Tolstoy because I love his novels, Paul Delaroche because his painting of Lady Jane Grey is my favourite and Catherine The Great because I’d like to know more…

 

15.How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as someone that people perhaps didn’t think much of when she walked into a room, but she could turn your opinion on its head when you got to know her.

 

 

Kerry Gooderson is in ‘The Watching’ by Nicholas Limm at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington from 16th-20 October, full details and box office: https://www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk/WhatsOn/The-Watching