Questions and answers with Oliver Wilson, star of Blue/Orange
What, in your words, is Blue/Orange about?
The play is about a junior psychiatrist and a senior consultant who have conflicting views over their diagnosis of a patient, and therefore cannot agree on the best way to treat the patient. Christopher (the patient) has a range of delusions, such as seeing a 'blue orange' and believing that his father is Idi Amin. Christopher's twenty-eight days at the hospital are almost up, he can't wait to leave, but only one of the doctors thinks he should.
When were you first inspired to get involved with live theatre and performing?
My mum forced me to join a weekend theatre school when I was fourteen. I didn't want to because I hated the thought of doing ballet! In the end I gave it a try because I knew there would be loads of girls! Turned out I loved it. My first drama lesson inspired me for life.
What is your favourite thing about acting?
Getting completely lost in a part, so much so you forget you are acting. Also, earning a laugh from the audience and equally earning that complete silence. Knowing/feeling that they are totally engaged and you're fully in control.
How much does the audience reaction affect your performance?
Most of the time it just gives you more energy and confidence. But you must make sure that you keep control and not to let the audience over power you.
What appealed to you about the script of Blue/Orange?
It's a play with depth and meaning. It's a massive acting exercise, with complex characters and a great subject matter. It's very well written, and just great to have the challenge of being in play with only a cast of three!
What is the most difficult thing about playing the role of Christopher in Blue/Orange?
It takes a lot of energy. And you have to be able to instantly switch between different moods and emotions.
How do you get ready to perform in Blue/Orange?
I do a vocal and physical warm-up. Listen to music and go over certain lines which define the character. Then just try and get myself 'in the moment'.
What would be your Top Tip for young people who want to be involved in theatre?
If you're able to, join a weekend or after school drama school/club. Research drama schools. Go to the theatre or even watch films and really think about what you liked or didn't like, and how you would possibly do it better. Also, try and get a better understanding of Shakespeare. Read some of his plays or watch some Shakespeare films. The more comfortable you feel with Shakespeare's work, the better the actor you will become. I think it is one of the main ticks on the list for an actor. And if you can tackle that you can do anything!
Why do you think people should come and see Blue/Orange?
Because it is a very thought provoking and engaging production. Though it tackles a lot of deep issues in society it is also very funny. It keeps you guessing and tries not to give you any answers. You love and hate all three characters. And the play shines a light on areas which are often left in the shadows.