Life balance: Emilia Fox said she could relate to her character in Rapture, Blister, Burn
Emilia Fox is to return to the stage after a 10-year gap for the British premiere of a play exploring whether women can have it all.
The Silent Witness star plays Catherine, a top American academic, in Gina Gionfriddo’s play Rapture, Blister, Burn, a Pulitzer prize finalist which will run at the Hampstead Theatre from January 16.
Catherine’s friend Gwen married her ex when she left to pursue her studies but Gwen is finding home life and children less than satisfying. A dangerous game develops as each woman covets the other’s life.
“When I read it, I immediately wanted to talk to my mum about it and my best friend and my daughter’s nanny — it was a discussion that they could immediately engage with,” Fox, 39, said.
“It’s quite a familiar dilemma about how we balance a career and family life. Can we have it all? There’s no easy answer.” Fox, an Oxford English graduate who admitted she would love to do another degree, said the play resonated — though she differs from her character in having a three-year-old daughter, Rose, by her former partner, Jeremy Gilley.
She said: “It made me thank God I’m beyond lucky to have Rose. But life slightly happens to you.”
The star said she had wanted to find the right play for her return after the West End production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which was her last appearance, was slated by the critics and closed early.
“We all got slightly burned and blistered by it, but it was such a long time ago,” she said.
“Everyone was worried whether they would ever get another job but of course we all did.”
Rapture, Blister, Burn will be followed at Hampstead by a second premiere, Good People, By David Lindsay-Abaire, with Imelda Staunton. hampsteadtheatre.com