Actress, Jenny Coate will be performing in the play Home, I’m Darling at the South London Theatre from Sept 5-9th. Jenny will be playing the role of Fran.

Home, I’m Darling explores feminism through its main character Judy Martin played by actress Elly Meacham who wants to become a 1950s traditional housewife. The stage is set in Judy’s home, a 1950s paradise, nothing dating past 1959! ‘The set is amazing, the colors, the furniture, even our costumes are all dated for the 50s’ says Jenny.

Describe your experience playing Fran?
Working on this production and with this cast has been such a great experience. Everyone plays their part so well. During rehearsals we were asked by our Director Kornelia Adelajda to focus on our bodies. I love doing movement and character work and Fran psychoanalyses others. This allowed me to think about how my character would sit, stand, and even adjust the way she speaks when she is around certain people. We did a lot of animal work and character analysis to help figure out how to bring our characters to life. I find it most helpful to go through the script and write down what I know and don’t know about my character. Each time I read the script or listen from the stage I picked up something new that didn’t resonate before.

What were the challenges playing Fran?
This play is a gem for characterization work. It was key to play Fran as a modern-day career woman, but adjust her movements and mannerisms for when she visits Judy, who lives in the 1950s. I would constantly be thinking how she would sit, how she would hold her body, how would she dress, how she would hold her purse, drink her tea. I was torn a lot of the time to find a balance with where Fran stood because Fran is on one hand an independent career woman who doesn’t not want to live as a 50s housewife, but when she is at Judy’s house she plays by Judy’s rules. A lot of thought went into characterization and the atmosphere in which our characters were living in or living in and out of.

Tell us about Fran.
My character Fran and Fran’s marriage is the polar opposite of Judy and Judy and her husband, Johnny. Fran does not suppress her feelings or thoughts. She is an open book and says anything that’s on the top of her mind. Fran and Marcus face their problems and difficulties head on, they don’t hide things from each other. In a way, I find their relationship very healthy. Their marriage doesn’t come without its problems, but they are open and honest with each other.

How do you relate to Fran?
I relate well to Fran. I love clothes and fashion and Fran is very stylish. I think Fran has a good heart and tries to look out for Judy and really does respect Judy’s lifestyle choices. I don’t think I would change my wardrobe as drastically as Fran does for Judy!

Why should someone to see Home, I’m Darling?
The play has so many wonderfully written roles for women. The women in this show are like truth mirrors for Judy. Each woman in the play fights and defends the choices they have made in their lives and their choices are constantly being tested and questioned which I believe anyone can relate to. This play has humor and has an incredible amount of subtext. I am also really proud of how we have brought it to life. Everyone really has a true sense of their character and the amount of research and work everyone has brought to designing our set and costumes is beyond incredible. You really do feel like you have transported back in time.

Directed by Kornelia Adelajda

The cast includes:
Judy - Elly Meacham
Johnny - James Mercer
Fran - Jenny Coate
Marcus - Eduardo Gispert
Sylvia - Cal Beckett
Alex - Sapphire Shoferpoor

Home, I'm Darling by Laura Wade at The Old Fire Station. Buy event tickets here.

South London Theatre
Sept 5-9th at 8pm

Links: Home, I'm Darling I South London Theatre I Jenny Coate