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La Ronde, a play based on an Oscar-nominated film is out now

FOUR'S A CROWD: Left to right - La Ronde's Amanda Wilkin, Alex Vlahos, Lauren Samuels and Leemore Marrett Jr. (photo credit: Ray Burmiston)

LA RONDE promises to give audiences quite the immersive experience, as opposed to offering theatre-goers a traditional play that will be watched as a passive viewer.

Audiences determine the outcomes within the play, meaning some actors may not even return to the stage for the rest of the show in any given night.

Based on an Oscar-nominated vintage French film, La Ronde stars Amanda Wilkin, Alex Vlahos, Lauren Samuels and Leemore Marrett Jr.

The Voice spoke with Marrett about what audiences can expect from La Ronde and what sets it apart from other plays.

Q: For those who haven't seen La Ronde, what is the play about?

A: The show is about sexual desire, insecurities, fear, reality of life, shining a light on taboos and human interaction otherwise never seen in mainstream entertainment, amongst a whirlwind of other things!

Q. What role will audiences play if they come to see it?

A: The role audiences will play for me will be one of being open to receiving the many messages we're trying to teach, they will question everything. If they see a stereotype smashed to pieces I want them to ask themselves how they became comfortable with said stereotype in the first place.... or not!

ISSUES: From left, Amanda Wilkin with fellow La Ronde cast member Leemore Marrett Jr.

Q: What were your thoughts when you read the script / saw the original film or another performance?

A: When I read the script my mind was blown, I just was so baffled by the many different facets of the piece that I had to read it 4 more times before I even agreed to go in the room. I then found myself being so fascinated and intrigued by it which, in turn made me want to be a part of it. Also, I felt I absolutely had to watch it even if I wasn't cast in it, which for me as an actor is important on anything I do now. I always think, "would I want to pay money to watch this?"

Q: Do you think it's a realistic portrayal of romantic relationships today?

A: I think realistic is exactly what we are trying to portray, though I would add that mainstream realism is something I question because what I usually see in theatres or on screen to me isn't realistic at all, as I don't feel it reflects what I see on a daily basis - my realism. This play makes you question everything that you thought was 'realistic' and reflects to us a 'new real', an alt real if you like, which I think is what our job as theatre-makers should be.

It's too easy to try to pacify the public by simply catering to what 'normal' is, it's time to buy into what real is.

Q: How do you think audiences in the 1950s would have reacted to La Ronde?

Haha! They would have walked out of the theatre in disgust and gone back home pretending they couldn't relate to what they saw. Deep down - if they were allowed to be honest and open - they really saw themselves, and probably didn't feel allowed to, or know how to. 

Q: What do you think people will take away from La Ronde?

A: Hopefully they take away with them a sense of empathy and understanding for the different facets that life has to offer, hopefully they question what 'normal' is for them and challenge themselves to question stereotypes. 

La Ronde is showing until 11 March at the Bunker. To book tickets, click here.

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