Kelle Bryan is currently starring in Wings at the Young Vic. Her character Billy is struggling to rebuild her communication skills after experiencing aphasia – a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems with speech and language.
Kelle’s acting credits include The Exonerated (Charing Cross Theatre), Torn (Arcola Theatre) and My Fair Lady (Manchester Palace) but she is perhaps best known as a member of the girl group Eternal.
We caught up with Kelle to pick her brains. Check our her 11 questions below . . .
1. Can you describe your character in Wings in three words?
Feisty, fun and vulnerable.
2. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this Young Vic production?
I love the hubbub of the central location, the history of the theatre and credibility of the venue. We’ve got an amazing cast, crew and creative team.
3. Emily Stilson was a wing walker. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve done a few! Running the London Marathon, swimming with dolphins, being on Celebrity Love Island… deep sea fishing…
4. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?
I think you’ll leave with a much better understanding of aphasia from the patients perspective but you’ll also have a good laugh at the same time.
Kelle in rehearsal for Wings. Photo by Johan Persson.
5. What has it been like working with Natalie Abrahami?
Natalie gives great notes that can uniquely change your whole performance. Quietly confident – she leads from a place of grace.
6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
I’m usually found doing lovely little stretches, running through my lines and listening to some great retro tunes. You’ll hear me singing and dancing with the girls in the dressing room!
7. What is your favourite play you’ve either seen, read or worked on?
I was in a play called ‘Torn‘ at the Arcola. I just loved the role and the creative process.
8. What’s the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
There sometimes little mishaps in the show which have us in stitches.
9. What’s the one thing you value most in life?
My faith in God, the people He gave me to share it with – my two children and my amazing family. After the year I’ve had they have really been my inspiration.
10. Who is your ultimate hero, and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I would love to meet Oprah Winfrey – I have so many questions…. “Who are you when the lights and cameras are off?”. I think she’s exactly the same.
11. If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?
I wouldn’t choose an era in history as is taken us so long to progress as a society. I’d probably stick to right now.
Wings runs at the Young Vic until 4 November. Juliet Stevenson stars as Emily, an aviator who suffers a stroke that destroys her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and sense of self.
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