May 21 2014
Actor Yasmin Wilde appears in a new play called ‘Fourteen’ by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti at the Watford Palace Theatre. Suman Bhuchar caught up with her to talk about this very personal piece by one of Britain’s most probing (and funny!) playwrights…
www.asianculturevulture.com (ACV): What has the preparation been like?
Yasmin Wilde (YW): It’s going really well. It’s a trial by fire as it’s only me on the stage. I have never done a one woman show, and it’s intense, great fun and I am really enjoying it.
In rehearsals it is only me and the director, Brigid Larmour. The writer (Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti) turns up sometimes, so it’s not as lonely as it sounds.
ACV: What is the play, ‘Fourteen’ about?
YW: It’s a two act play, and I am playing an ethnically Indian Sikh Girl called, Tina. In the first act, it is 1984 and she is a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl living in her bedroom and listening to music. She’s quite lonely, finds it tough on her own, but is an optimist.
The second act is set in 2014, and she is a forty-four-year-old woman whose life is now going by the wayside and hasn’t reached her full potential – she could have had more of an education and she is reconciling herself with her family.
ACV: Where is the play set?
YW: It’s set in Watford and it arose from a small thing that Gurpreet wrote ‘Come to Where I am From’.
In 2010, Brigid Larmour, the director at Watford loved it and commissioned her to write, “Fourteen”. Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti grew up in Watford, and she has written extensively for stage, screen and radio.
ACV: What is your background?
YW: My dad is from Pakistan and my mum is Austrian, they met in London and we lived in Cambridgeshire. I went to the Webber Douglas Drama School. I have also performed at Watford Palace Theatre before in The Country Wife (an Indian adaptation of William Wycherley’s 1660 sex obsessed restoration comedy adapted by Tanika Gupta).
Other credits include, appearing in “Behzti” (Bhatti’s controversial production that was greeted with protests for featuring a sexual assault in a Sikh temple), playing the role of Min (the daughter who cares for her mother). I am very proud of my character, it was wonderful to perform.
As far as television is concerned, I am always in “Eastenders” (the long running BBC soap) I played a doctor when Lynn Slater was having her baby; and in “Holby City”, I was the the midwife when Patsy Kensit, who played the Faye Byrne character was having a baby. When not acting, I have been in bands, I love singing and music is the greatest thing to have in life. (Although she’s not allowed to say much, Wilde has been taking part in the music workshops for the stage adaptation of Bend it Like Beckham)
ACV: Why would audiences enjoy the play?
YW:The play is very funny, and I can identify with Tina, she’s an optimist. In the first half she’s a teenager and all teenagers feel misunderstood and find their parents embarrassing, it’s real and subtle. ‘Things are going to be OK’. We like those sort of characters. In the second act, life hasn’t gone as she wanted she’s not in a high status job, but she’s a bright girl, but people think she’s thick…and the rest has to be seen!
The show is in two acts and I don’t think about the fact that I will be on stage all the time: you think about the first line, then you dance and the play develops…
For only three days from Wednesday, May 21-24, 7.45pm and matinee Saturday 2.30pm. Tickets here