Stage Exposed

Emma Jenkinson
Magdalen College, 3rd Year
ActressEmma last starred in the Edinburgh Fringe’s critically acclaimed How I Learned To Drive, and played Titania in Merton’s Trinity production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.How much acting had you done before you arrived at Oxford?
I didn’t do too much actually; LAMDA exams, some school stuff and Am Dram musicals. I can’t sing so always played the evil people; some say I was typecast but I beg to differ. What were your first experiences of Oxford Drama?
I did Cuppers with some friends. We weren’t very good but it was so much fun. I then auditioned lots and lots, before being cast as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.What are your fondest memories of thesping?
Cast parties are always a lot of fun; very drunken and almost always sordid. As for stories, I find that when retold they always sound a bit weird, in-jokey, and very uncool. There have been a few ‘interesting’ moments though. Once while rehearsing Harold Pinter’s The Lover in a freezing cold barn in South Wales, we did a particularly intense scene to the delightful sound of rutting pigs. What was it like taking a show to the Fringe?
What I liked about Edinburgh was that there are no expectations. It’s a complete unknown in terms of acting – there are no previous reviews, or productions, so you are judged solely on your performance in that play at that particular time. Of course if it goes badly then there are no other shows to turn back to as evidence of your acting ability, so it can also be quite daunting. But, as a break from the Oxford environment, it’s a refreshing, and I think, very constructive change. I loved it. It gave me such a rush. Also Edinburgh is just very very cool, and inexplicably full of extraordinarily good-looking men.Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Oh, married, three kids, house in the country, chickens and a gin habit. Or more hopefully, standing on a stage somewhere – it’s my favourite place to be.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005