Give us your full name and the character you are playing.
Hello, my name is Paula Brett and I play Tea Lady/Cook/Peasant Woman
Where in the UK are you from?
Ashford, Middlesex… Not Kent!
What was your first theatrical experience, either on stage or in the auditorium?
Aside from a brief appearance as the Angel Gabriel in my Nursery Nativity, I’ve danced since I was very small. I did my first dance show at 7, a ballet number to Doll On A Music Box from Chitty. Around that time my parents took us to see Beauty and the Beast in the West End – they’d saved up for months – and I was hooked!
What was your first experience of Brecht?
I’d heard him referred to during my GCSE drama days, but didn’t really study his work until my time at the BRIT school.
What was your first experience of The Caucasian Chalk Circle?
Our GCSE drama group were actually supposed to put on a production, but it fell through after one rehearsal! My friends think it’s hilarious I’m in this, it’s finally happened after almost ten years.
What was your first thought when you heard about a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle?
I think Brecht gets bargepoled a bit because people are intimidated by the harsh language and the “Brechtian” style, so it’s been amazing to get our hands on something so rarely done and tremendously exciting.
Tell us the title of your favourite play.
There are so many! Controversially, I do love Comic Potential. It’s one of Ayckbourn’s strongest, and reflects on the bygone age of true comedy. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favourite Shakespeare – it manages to have both a carefree and frightening feel about it, and reminds us not to take life too seriously.
Who is your theatrical inspiration?
I love watching the old masters at work – Olivier, Robert Stephens, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi – I’m only fashioned, I like to hear beautifully-spoken English. Their kind of theatre reflected a kind of beauty about the world and all its flaws that I think we’ve lost in the age of cynicism.
If you had to choose, who is your favourite actor?
Jeremy Brett, hands down. He was so intensely believable and graceful in everything he did – he had that special something about an actor that you just can’t teach. He was also one of the first people to speak publicly about Mental Health issues, and was renowned for being a kind hearted and generous man.
What’s your favourite party game?
We like Black Stories in our house – one person reads a description of the scene of a crime, and the rest of the group have to guess how it happened. It’s perfect at the end of the night when you’re winding down.
Want to know more about what’s happening in the rehearsal room, take a look at our blog.
23rd February – 12th March , 2016