Lillian Henley can be seen on stage in Golem at Trafalgar Studios. Here are her answers to our 11 Questions…
Can you describe your characters in Golem in three words?
Pissy Pants Penny: Devoted, shy and awkward
Jenny no.2 (looks like Jenny no.1): Deadpan, adenoidal and sweaty
French Wife Accordionist: Unloved, aged and unbothered
What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
I’d probably be very relaxed chopping up a lemon in the downstairs kitchen for my water bottle. Or I’m having a little giggle in the dressing room, before I start lunging and finishing off my vocal warm up with a few oos and arhs.
What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
Cigarettes & Chocolate is a radio play by Anthony Minghella and for a long time this was my favourite. I centred my degree dissertation around Minghella’s ideas in the play and it led me onto Samuel Beckett’s work. Both playwrights taught me about space, timing and musicality in the spoken word. By the time I had met Suzanne Andrade a few years later I couldn’t believe my luck; a chance to compose my own music to her witty rhythmical poetic writing. It was a dream.
What is your favourite midnight snack?
That would be a sneaky piece of cheese, a couple of grapes, sometimes topped some chilli jam on crackers. Dangerously good.
What are you most passionate about?
Fairness. Silliness. Kindness. Humour in the mundane. The Future. Art. (“…I like the Arts”)
If days were 28 hours long, what would you do with the 4 extra hours?
All those things you mean to do, but never quite get round to do, like a spot of sewing, or an outlandish cooking whim. But knowing me, I’d probably enjoy the extra hours daydreaming it all away.
If you could be in a room full of any one thing, what would it be?
I think I’d like to be sat playing my grandparents piano and to just sit there, tinkling all day long with either Angelo Badalamenti or Eric Satie giving me a masterclass in what they do best.
Favourite holiday you’ve ever been on?
1927 went on a hike to the Able Tasman Natural Park, New Zealand. The boat trip from Wellington to Nelson, was absolutely stunning, complimented by a soundtrack of sheep who were also travelling on the boat. Our hike took I think three or four days, and involved camping next to the beach with wild possums. Our backpacks were full with an uneven ratio of red wine to food, meaning we were rationing our meals to half an avocado sandwich each a day, with only an almond, and a piece of crystalized ginger to get us over the mountains. It was an absolute hoot.
Favourite city and why?
London because its home and constantly surprising. Melbourne is alluring for all its creative talent and Newcastle Upon Tyne is like an old friend with a beautiful accent.
If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
The 10s or 20s with Isadora Duncan and Anna Mae Wong, because of the wealth of creativity in film, but I think the feminist in me would actually hate all its inequalities. Perhaps the best era is yet to come, so long as I can wear still wear 1950s/60s inspired clothing.
If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
To be able to speak all the languages of this world, because I’m a terrible linguist… I am trying to learn French but its going badly. I suppose, can I say I’d like to speak any language in this universe. I’d befriend a space traveller so we could make the most of our supernatural powers, that space traveller might really need me.