A lifeless block of wood turns into a living being – A talking cricket acts as a conscious – A wishing star doubles as a beautiful fairy – And a monstrous whale swallows half of the company. This could only be a Disney story. But it’s not your traditional fairy tale that often occupies the family-centred company’s creations. There’s no princess that needs saving from a fire breathing monster; no, this story is instead based on a puppet who longs to be a real boy – whose nose grows longer each time a new lie is told.
As youngsters, the world in which we live can appear magnified; a world dominated by giants (our parents) as we continually attempt to make sense of the day to day. As role models, they’re placed on a pedestal in which they set the ground rules and lead by example, an unbreakable support system as they witness our first stumbling steps and jumbled first words, to our birthdays and graduations. But what happens when that support system breaks down? Who do you turn too?
Over a decade on from its London Premiere, Dennis Kelly’s Debris makes a welcome return to the Southwark Playhouse. A play not shy on exploring the dark and sometimes unspoken aspects of life, Debris is a tale told through the eyes of two siblings as they attempt to make sense of the world. Ahead of the play’s opening night next week, I was able to speak to Leila Mimmack about preparing for her role, working in a small cast and why she was drawn to the play!
You’ll be starring in Dennis Kelly’s Debris at The Southwark Playhouse at the end of this month, could you describe what the play is about?
It’s about a brother and sister who are borderline abandoned. It’s them exploring what’s happened from when they were 9 until 16 in different climatic points through their lives. They take it in turns to tell each other’s stories; some of it is monologues, sometimes they tell a part of a story together in duologues. It’s fragmented but it’s all connected in the timeline of their life.