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Guide for a Boxing Journey
Did you have any opinions about boxing before you became involved with the show?
“I just remember when I was wee thinking it was quite violent. I’m quite a tomboy, I’ve always been quite a tomboy.
I’m the youngest of four girls and our house was quite rough and tumble. But I just remember anytime seeing it being a wee bit scared of it.
When it was on I wasn’t really drawn to it. Then, getting into fitness and going to drama school, I came across it a bit more and realised there’s a real art to it – a real elegance that I hadn’t really seen before.”
n What have you learnt about boxing since taking the part?
“I think – stupidly – I didn’t realise how extremely fit they have to be. I knew they were athletes, but even trying to do it: my arms are really sore today because I was working on the basics yesterday. I watched it at the Olympics and I was enjoying it, but I never realised how fit they are, and how sweaty you get. And how much concentration, and you feel a bit ignorant actually – that you didn’t realise that before.”
n Can you tell us a bit about your character, Carlotta?
“I think Carlotta’s a key character, she’s sort of the linchpin for the audience, she tells them what’s going on and she goes “right, you’ve seen that, but this is what happens now.” She guides them through it, whatever stage they’re all at.
And that’s exactly what happens with her boy, Cameron Burns. He goes into this amateur world of boxing and she likes that because he’s doing something. He’s getting fit and all the rest of it. So she keeps telling herself “I’m ok with that”, and then it shifts when he’s asked to become professional.
She’s like their guide of his journey. The audience see him physically going through it, but you don’t necessarily see emotionally what he’s going through, so she tells them all the time. If anyone’s lost the plot she’ll keep them straight on what’s going on.
It’s nice because I don’t really have anyone to talk to in the play – I think my son grunts at me twice – so Carlotta talks to the audience all the time, and it’s really nice. It’s like having a pal if you like. The audience are all her friends, and she’s telling them what’s going on. Whether they’re judging her or not, she’ll guide them through what’s about to happen. So she’s a good character like that.
She’s a warm person – she basically loves her boy and wants the best for her boy.”
n There’s a lot of controversy about boxing and people get hurt, but then on the other hand it does a lot of good for people’s lives as well. Is this something that the show addresses as well?
“From my point of view, which is a bit selfish, I think about the mum all the time.
I’ve got two boys and I’m thinking “what would I be like if one of them was Cameron Burns, you know, coming through and doing that. But through spending time and doing it – obviously we’re not a real boxing club – but the fitness and the discipline, all of that, and how focused they become... I always can see it now as a good thing, but that’s obviously because I’m absorbed in it and involved in it.
I think anything to promote sport, or anything like that, is great, and the fact that women’s boxing is in the Olympics and won Gold medals... Of course there’s always going to be another argument against it, but I’m for it.”