The Interview brings a new and intelligent perspective to a well known historical event (the controversial 1996 interview between BBC reporter Martin Bashir and Princess Diana). Adapted for online theatre, the play uses the medium of film to its fullest advantage, utilising angles, transitions and lighting to further enhance the story, adding yet another layer to the show.
Yolanda Kettle perfectly captures the beloved Princess Diana's mannerisms, and her steadfast characterisation anchors the entire show. With glimpses of vulnerability and layered sorrow within the armoured and playful dialogues, she delivers a stand out performance. Tibu Fortes delivers a grounded performance as reporter Martin Bashir, and is a delight to watch as he transforms and charms in his role.
The play takes place almost entirely in black and white, with little to no set. Only the actors are illuminated. However whenever addressing the audience directly, we see hints of colour fill in the voids of our screens and it resorts to a more theatre stylised piece.
Writer Jonathan Maitland is a wordsmith, evident in how he has chosen to approach the show. Focusing almost more on Martin Bashir, we see the intentions and deceptions that prelude acquiring the interview, and how charming and warm he appears to be. Painted to be a morally grey character, the lighting and creative choices by director Michael Fentimen, it's the exploration and eventual investigation into his actions that truly sits at the heart of the show.
Interestingly despite being titled The Interview, we never see the actual interview taking place, instead the events leading up to it and the consequences of the interview. In a well choreographed sequence, we are given highlights of the interview as live footage is being reviewed, edited and cut. The audience are given the front row seat to this process, and it's a brilliant way of managing to include prominent moments from the interview, through Kettle's brilliant performance and aided by the particularly excellent use of lighting (Emily Irish), video and sound (Barnaby Race).
However the dialogue and the story are often overlooked as more attention has been provided to the filming aspect. The audience perspective is often switched between every line of dialogue, which lessens the impact, choosing to be immediately striking instead of stewing in the brilliance of the dialogue.
The Interview is a no nonsense story with impeccable writing, constantly keeping the audience engaged and interested. It starts a conversation that must be continued about censorship, women rights, classism and race. A daring and provocative version of a censored interview, this play will no doubt leave a legacy of its own. It is currently available to stream online at Original Theatre - to book, you can rent this play for £5.99 for 48 hours or you can join from £8.99 per month, to enjoy an ever-growing library of award-winning entertainment here.
AD | photography by Pamela Raith