Rapture, Blister, Burn, a thrilling play from Gina Gionfriddo, is coming to the Hampstead Theatre in 2014, and Harper’s Bazaar is offering all readers the chance to attend a very special showing featuring a talk by editor-in-chief Justine Picardie on 5 February. Focusing on the changing roles of women in society, it sees three generations of women coming together to talk about their own life choices – from the academic rock star who chose work over love, to the dedicated mother who missed out on having a career. We spoke to the play’s star, Emilia Fox, about women’s roles, feminism and whether you really can have it all…
What attracted you to the part in Rapture, Blister, Burn?
First of all, it was the discussions it made me want to have with my mum, best friends, and my daughter’s 25-year-old nanny; about trying to get the right balance between love, family and work. I went in and spoke to everyone – the casting director, the director – about what they thought. Is it possible to be successful at balancing all three? Or was it easy in earlier generations – when there were more clearly defined gender roles?
Were you already familiar with the play?
No, I wasn’t, but I’ve now read up on the American production a lot. There’s a lot of emphasis on how it’s a smart comedy – while it discusses issues relating to gender its not too bogged down in the ideals of feminism – it appeals to both men and women. I loved that it’s a play that discusses subjects relevant to all generations and sees, and that it transcends geography. It’s about the issues faced by women in the modern world.
Can you tell me a little about your character?
My character is Catherine – a celebrated academic who chose her career over a relationship. At the beginning of the play she is coming to terms with the death of her mother and what it means for her future as she has no family of her own. She looks at an old school friend couple and wonders if she would have been happier choosing that life instead.
Do you think women can “have it all”?
I don’t think all women necessarily want to have it all – it might be too ambitious in a way. If you try to have to it all you can drive yourself crazy. Juggling a career life and a domestic life and not wanting to spread yourself too thinly, and have time for everything, requires organisation. It’s what works for each individual person. For me, the Holy Grail is a healthy balance where I can be there for Rose (Emilia’s daughter), and provide for Rose, and still remember who I am hand in hand with being a good mother.
What do you think the play’s answer is?
The message of the play is – there is no answer. You have choices and you have to live with and by those. I think the great thing about the play is it will affect everyone differently. I hope everyone comes out into the bar afterwards and asks, “Why did Catherine do that?” Provoking discussion is a good sign of creative art!
What advice would you give to women who feel similarly to the characters in the play?
The grass is not always greener on the other side! Surround yourself with friends and family. Always communicate. Don’t seek out love for love’s sake. Learn to want what you already have.
How much do you think women’s lives have changed since the 1970s?
I can only speak for my own life, and as a child of the 1970s I’m grateful for all of the possibilities I’ve had – but I’m also a die hard romantic that loves the chivalrous gentleman. Interestingly the play suggests that the older and younger generations are happiest – not the middle – who struggle between the easily defined gender roles of the older generation and the “have it all” attitude of the younger generation.
To book in to this exclusive Harper’s Bazaar evening at the Hampstead Theatre:
Box Office number: 020 7722 9301 – Quote the promo code: Harpers14
Ticket prices: £44/£41 (including Harper’s Bazaar subscription)
Thanks michael-ealy.com very much for the photos!
I’ve added many, maaany new HQ photos from all recent events Emilia attended in October and at the beginning of this month. I hope you enjoy! Thanks adelaide-kane.com for the additional pictures!
08th Oct | BFI Gala Dinner
08th Oct | BFI Gala Dinner – Inside
24th Oct | Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards
28th Oct | ‘Dom Hemingway’ UK Film Premiere
30th Oct | WGSN Global Fashion Awards
30th Oct | WGSN Global Fashion Awards – Ceremony
30th Oct | Westfield London Celebrate 5th Birthday With The Vogue Pop Up Club
06th Nov | Gordon’s And Temperley London VIP Launch Party
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
Some fantastic news has just been announced as Emilia will be back on stage and star in ‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’ by US writer Gina Gionfriddo! Read the press release below:
The Hampstead Theatre in north London will stage two UK premieres in the new year, starring Emilia Fox and Imelda Staunton.
Fox will appear in Rapture, Blister, Burn by US writer Gina Gionfriddo. Directed by Peter DuBois, the show will run from January 16 to February 22, 2014.
Meanwhile, Staunton has been cast in Good People by another US writer, David Lindsay-Abaire. The production runs from February 27 to April 5.
It is directed by Jonathan Kent, marking his debut at the north London venue. The show also reunites Kent with Staunton, whom he directed in the recent Chichester Festival Theatre production of Sweeney Todd.
Full casting for both shows has yet to be announced.
Hampstead Theatre artistic director Edward Hall said: “It is a real thrill to be able to introduce these two outstanding plays to British theatregoers for the first time.
“And to be able to introduce them in some considerable style: Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gina Gionfriddo’s virtuosic gender comedy, has enticed Emilia Fox back to the stage, whilst David Lindsay-Abaire’s funny and tender Good People will see the return of Imelda Staunton to Hampstead Theatre after 20 years.”
Emilia attended Gordon’s and Temperley London VIP launch party to celebrate the launch of ‘Ten Green Bottles’ yesterday. You can see some preview photos on our Tumblr… enjoy!
Going for a typically vintage style, Emilia Fox opted for a lace number and wore a tea dress to the fashionable event. Emilia chose to wear black opaque tights with matching shoes and a jacket that she took off upon arrival at the fashionable event.
As posted on Tumblr last week, Emilia attended the Crime Thriller Awards 2013 with her co-stars from Silent Witness.
Now thanks to my friend Rich @ Kathryn Morris UK we finally have a clip of her appearance on the show! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
On the 26th October 2013, in association with YOU Magazine, Jacques Vert Group hosted the Mum & Me Coatwalk event on London’s Southbank. Hosted by Kate Garraway the event showcased the Jacques Vert Group’s AW13 coat collection and featured Mum & Me Coatwalk ambassadors Emilia Fox and Joanna David plus YOU magazine readers strutting their stuff on the catwalk in support of Think Pink.
Source: Jacques Vert Group via vimeo.com