Interview: Overspill @ NNT

It’s the last week before students return to their hometowns and panic about revision. So, to calm the nerves, Nottingham New Theatre’s next production is set to be epic! Impact talks to Ollie Shortt and Charlotte Van Rhee about their production, Overspill.

Firstly, what is Overspill about?

O: Overspill follows Baron, Potts and Finch – three 20 year old lads who take us on their standard Friday night out in Bromley. Things take a turn when a bomb explodes in McDonalds and as further explosions tear through the town, the boys differing ambitions tear their relationship to bits in tandem.

With terrorism being a very real, very sensitive social issue, were there any limitations you had to overcome?

C: We had to decide whether we wanted to treat this play cautiously or take it at face value for its comedy, and in the end we went for a bit of both. Ultimately what makes Overspill so frightening is the lack of identity attached to the terrorist in question. The terror plot is a constant, albeit shady presence in the play, underpinning the comedy and rearing its ugly head to shake both the characters and the audience back to reality. Ali Taylor leaves us with the idea that terrorism can come from anywhere, and can be anyone.

In an interview for Soho Theatre, writer Ali Taylor stated that fear was the central theme in the play, to what extent do you agree?

C: I don’t think Overspill has a ‘central’ theme as such, but the playwright knows best! Fear is certainly very prominent in the play, and a lot of the lads’ decisions are made as a result of fear. Overspill is a gritty combination of the obvious fear of the ‘Nameless’ bomber that drives the plot forward, but also the everyday fears a teenager faces as well.

O: It’s fair to say that fear is a big motive for all of the characters and drives the plot forward, however it is not dominant nor overbearing on the action; it’s just a starting point.

How have the actors embraced the script and their characters?

O: Phenomenally. The rhythm and pace of this script is relentless and unforgiving and to keep the energy of it flowing throughout the 70 minute performance is a real challenge for actors – however, the stamina shown in their performances is exceptional and all three of them make a script which should be approached with trepidation look very natural.

C: Ali Taylor’s writing has a punchy, pulsating rhythm full of alliteration, consonance and rhyme; a poet would have a field day. The actors have thrown themselves into this script with more passion and dedication than we could ever have asked for. The three characters are meant to have been best mates since they were five years old, and the relationship our actors have created is so believable and touching.

Why should people come and watch Overspill?                            

C: Because it offers something a bit different. The poetry of the script combined with moments of physical theatre, music, and some fantastic tech all make this play one to watch. Plus, it’s also only an hour and fifteen minutes long so it’s the perfect end of term treat; there’s no excuse!

O: The great thing about Overspill for me is that it takes something relatable, a Friday night out, and supercharges it with pace, energy and rhythm – it’s a really exciting watch!

Finally, please sum up Overspill in three words…

O: Poetic, energetic, thrilling

C: Metrical, menacing, mayhem

Jessica Millott

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