Interview with Emily Pemberton

Emily Pemberton is currently performing with represent., a theatre company for actors from a lower socioeconomic background, in Interruptions by Stephen Jeffreys which is running at Jacksons Lane Theatre until 4 December. I caught up with Emily to find out more.

Can you tell me about Interruptions?
It’s a play written by the late, great Stephen Jeffreys, about a fictional country going through a military coup with each scene focusing on a different group of people and the many effects this has on them. It’s a show with so many important messages and themes; it’ll start conversations that will carry on long after you’ve left the theatre.

You’re performing with represent. How did you get involved with them?
I came across represent. during some research I was doing for a university module. A few months later there was a casting call on their Instagram page and I knew I wanted to be involved so sent off an application. I got invited to film a self-tape, got a call back and now here I am!

Can you tell me about represent.?
It’s a brilliant theatre company that exists exclusively for working class artists. It provides an avenue for us to get a foot in the door of an industry that is rigged to favour those who can afford things like drama school fees, audition fees, headshots and all the other outgoings acting requires. It also treats the season as a learning experience – teaching us important lessons that many of us haven’t had a chance to learn, that will help us to continue a career once the shows are over!

How important do you think represent. are at this current time?
represent. is doing incredibly important work. There are so many talented working-class creatives out there who just need a platform to help their voices to be heard and represent. is helping to facilitate that. Class just isn’t afforded the same amount of thought when it comes to representation and diversity and this theatre company is taking massive steps to rectify that.

You recently made your stage debut in Albatross How was it?
It was genuinely magical. It’s been such a massive dream for me for such a long time, you think it’ll never live up to what you hoped it’d be, but it did… and to be able to make my debut on a stage in London is something I never would have imagined and am incredibly grateful for.

What can audiences expect from Interruptions?
It’s got comedy, drama, movement, music, incredibly intelligent writing… A bit of everything to keep the audience engaged and on their toes throughout the show (and a lot of quality acting of course)!

What would you like the play to achieve?
I genuinely hope that every person watching the show takes something away with them. Whether that’s a new viewpoint on politics, democracy, class, struggle, exploitation or faith, a sense of being seen and represented on stage, or just that priceless feeling of finally being able to sit in a theatre again and forget about the outside world for a little while.

To book tickets visit https://www.jacksonslane.org.uk/events/interruptions/

Photo credit: Guy Bell

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