“Hi! I’m Olivia, and I’m an actor from Chorley, Lancashire. I’m a huge lover of comedy! My love for performing began when I played Long John Silver in Treasure Island, back in year six. One of the primary school mums told my parents to “Get that girl into some acting lessons!” I’m hoping it was a compliment… When I’m not performing, you’ll find me knitting, reading, or working at Tesco!”
What did you choose to perform for the Spotlight Prize and why did you pick it?
For my screen piece, I chose a monologue from Simon Longman’s Sparks. There are so many incredible moments in Sparks, but this monologue has stuck out to me since I first read it – It’s so quirky and funny, but it has a bit of a darkness to it. There’s so much room to play around, explore, and have fun with the text.
For my stage piece, I chose a section from Bloody Elle by Lauryn Redding. I had the pleasure of seeing Bloody Elle at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, and the piece blew me away. It was a relatable, hilarious, moving show that I’d recommend to anyone. The show amplified voices that sound like mine. I love this piece as it takes the audience on such a journey – it really sets the scene, and I think we feel Elle’s excitement and sadness alongside her.
What’s your dream role?
A dream role of mine has always been to play Helena from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s my favourite Shakespeare play and I’ve seen more adaptations of it than I can count. It’s a play that looks like so much fun to take part in. I’d also love to play Nick Bottom, so if anybody is casting, you know who to call.
What kind of performer do you aspire to be?
I’d love to be an actor that’s consistently challenged, and to play characters that are incredibly different from myself. With that, I can grow and learn as a performer and be constantly exercising those creative muscles. I’d also love to be in a lot of comedy, and follow in the footsteps of some incredibly talented female comedy actors.
What have you recently watched, read or listened to that inspired you?
I recently saw No Pay? No Way! by Dario Fo (adapted by Marieke Hardy) at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. I’m such a fan of farces, and this was so up my street – It was wacky, political, side-splitting hilarious, and you could really tell the cast were having so much fun. The show was so high-energy, but left you with an important message. So much fun, and very thought-provoking!