Variety is the spice of life when it comes to acting for Angela Barber.
She was recently Annie in Annie Get Your Gun for the Walberton Players, and this summer she will be appearing as a home-coming communist in a J B Priestley for New Theatre Productions during the Festival of Chichester. For the moment, though, she is Jane in a twisty-turny psychological thriller.
Killing Time, written by Richard Stockwell, is the next production from the Arundel Players, from Monday, April 9-Saturday, April 14 at The Priory Playhouse, Arundel, (tickets 07523 417926).
A chance meeting in a supermarket brings Rick, played by Jamie Potts, and Jane, played by Angela, together after Jane offers Rick a lift home and goes in for a drink. The first conversation between Rick and Jane seems innocent and the two strangers discover they have a mutual interest, but the audience will soon discover that nothing is in fact a coincidence as gradually the truth emerges...
“I mustn’t give too much away!” Angela says. “The joy of it is in the unravelling of the plot. But they meet in a supermarket and Rick offers to pay for her shopping because she has lost her purse. They come back to Rick’s apartment… and that’s all part of the secret. There is a bit of flirting and questioning of each other and just trying to get to know each other and unravelling of who they are. It transpires that Jane is married, but unhappily married, and her husband is suspected of murder, and it turns out Rick knows her husband…
“It is all fairly tense, and it all twists and turns and constantly changes direction, and you think you know where it is going, and then it changes course. For me and Jamie, who is playing Rick, the challenge is learning the script and knowing where it is going, keeping that in our minds without giving away anything to the audience. There is a lot of dialogue!
“Jane starts off as being fairly timid, fairly vulnerable as a character, but as things happen, you realise that maybe she is not quite who we think she is.”
All a big departure from Annie Get Your Gun: “That was great fun. Walberton are a great society, as are Arundel. But I don’t like to do the same thing play after play. I was wanting something different.”
It’s all about having something just for her in a busy life, Angela explains. Her son turns 12 on the first night of the Arundel run; her daughter is five: “Being a mum, I spend a lot of time thinking about the children and my husband, sorting out family life. And this all helps the brain, learning a script, especially in something like this where there are only two of you. I have been in smallish casts before, but never done a two-hander. You are really in it. You get completely absorbed. You are never off stage, and there has to be a complete trust between you and the other actor.”
Also by Phil: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2