Emsworth’s Fiona Mikel plays all the female characters in a new version of Chekhov’s The Seagull heading for The Spring Arts Centre, Havant, on April 16.
The company behind it is FellSwoop Theatre which she and friends formed while students at the University of Warwick and which has since gone on to enjoy an independent existence.
“We took a couple of shows, while we are at Warwick, to the National Student Drama Festival for which they select ten shows from across the nation. It was a quite extraordinary experience. You get a lot of people from places like the RSC coming in to judge.”
As for the current show, Most Drink In Secret, Havant asked to have it given Fiona’s past connections with Havant Youth Theatre.
“The Seagull is one our favourite plays. We spent a long time trying to work out how we can deepen the meaning of a lot in the relationships that is not really expressed in Chekhov. With Chekhov there is always a lot of subtext.
“We have brought it up to modern dialect, and we are looking at the fact that there are a lot of relationships that are either being rejected by love or are pursuing love and where the love is secret. We only have three actors on stage to present the various relationships which is a real challenge.”
Fiona is currently working at Driftwood cafe in Emsworth to fund future studies: “I am going on to study at RADA or Guildhall Drama schools to train as an actress from September this year.”
She is also currently working at Chichester Festival Theatre as a youth theatre practitioner.
“They saw me in a show in January and they have asked me to come back to Chichester as a practitioner. We are devising a piece at the moment based on Hamlet. We have only just started on the project, and we are hoping to perform it some time next term.”