Harry Potter star Isabella Laughland has Tea With Wilma chatting about BU21

You are currently starring in Stuart Slade’s critically acclaimed BU21 at the Trafalgar Studios. What is the show about and what attracted you to the part you are playing?
The show is about a terrorist attack happening in London, Fulham to be precise. With six peoples different accounts of the day. I know that doesn’t sound particularly fun, but I promise its very, very funny. The main thing that attracted me to the part was the pathos of Stuarts writing, one second he can have you crying with laugher the next you’re just crying.

BU21 tackles the very serious topic of terrorist attacks. What kind of research have you had to do for the role and has it been tough to delve so deeply into such an emotional topic?
I watched a lot of documentaries and read up on the MH17 plane crash. I was constantly watching film after film, which did take its toll on my moods, I wasn’t very fun to be around for a couple of days! A lot has to come from my imagination. What I try and do each night is place myself in my character’s situation. You really have to see what she describes.

What West End show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
I know it finished recently but ‘People, Places and Things’ was pretty damn special. I saw it 3 times. Denise Gough was just sublime. I’m so looking forward to ‘Angels in America’ – If I can get a ticket!

We are living in a time where films are often being turned into stage plays and musicals. If you had to choose one, what film would you like to see adapted to the stage?
Oh dear what a question. There’s so many! Off the top if my head. Let’s say ‘Blue Valentine’

There are lots of exciting shows coming to London in 2017. What are you most looking forward to seeing?
I’ve said it before ‘Angels in America’ and the all-female production of ‘POSH’ at the Pleasance.

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
I think the line between male female roles on stage are becoming much more fluid. Look at what the Donmar are doing with their Shakespeare trilogy and The Old Vics production of King Lear and Emma Rice’s brilliant production of a midsummer night’s dream these productions have just as much commercial value as our male counterparts playing the leads not to mention these productions smashing it at the box office, and now we’ve got POSH happening. It’s so exciting. I’d like to give John Proctor a go, let’s aim high!

Why do you think people should come and see BU21 at the Trafalgar Studios?
People should come and see BU21 because its relevant for the age we are living in, it asks us to stare our fears straight in the face. Its intelligent, questioning, complex and funny writing. Hopefully it will linger with after you leave the theatre.

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma

BU21 plays at Trafalgar Studios until 18 February 2017

REVIEW: BU21 (Trafalgar Studios) ★★★★★


Take a look at who else I’ve been chatting to here