Here at Quirk Theatre we run a graduate pathway scheme with the University of Exeter. We run workshops and open up auditions to final year students studying Drama, to offer insight into the industry and how we work - but also ACTUAL JOBS in our show.
Charice Bhardwaj is on the pathway scheme this year, and we sat down with her for a cuppa and a chat about the whole thing.
Hi Charice, how are you?
Ello Ello! I’m good thanks. I’ve got my September sniffles back, but I just bought some fresh banana bread so I’m definitely okay.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Haha I think that’s every 23 year-old’s nightmare question, but I don’t mind it too much. I’m a theatrewoman! I’ve kind of made up that word, but I do like it. I recently graduated so the freelance life is still very new to me, but devising, writing, performing and doing producer admin are mostly what I’m doing now and what I aspire to keep doing until the next chapter (whilst serving pizza). I also just started my MA in Theatre Practice.
How are you finding working with Quirk on The Velveteen Rabbit?
I am absolutely LOVING IT. Our R&D period was such a great glimpse into how Quirk approach their work. They cultivated such a brilliant space for us to play hard, imagine wildly and ask lots and lots of questions — many of which didn’t even need to be answered, but were fun to think of anyway. I really appreciate how much Simon and Katie value and look forward to our contributions - inviting us in as collaborators, rather than just ‘actors’ with limited creative input. It’s also just refreshing to work with people of different ages and experiences, yet Simon manages to feel like the ‘biggest kid’ on the days when he's full of this endearing schoolboy cheekiness.
Then my next meeting with Quirk was for our trailer shoot where I got to munch dandelion leaves nose-to-nose with a REAL adorable, fluffy rabbit called Slipper, so working with Quirk has definitely been an awesome experience so far.
Who do you play?
The Velveteen Rabbit. ‘Rabbit' to close mates. And Alice’s mum - who’s a skilful medical professional.
What’s your favourite part of the show so far?
To be honest, I don’t have one at the moment because the ‘show’ was in such a happily deconstructed state in R&D, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of Horse’s wise and caring chats with Rabbit.
How did you find out about Quirk?
Mostly through the prolific amounts of Quirk Christmas show posters I see around Exeter every winter! But I found about this opportunity through my tutors at university.
What would you say to people curious about the Quirk graduate pathway?
GO FOR IT! Even if you don’t make it into the ensemble, it is so worth coming to the audition workshop because you’ll get to meet lots of other great artists in the South West and spend your day having loads of clowny, puppety fun.
When can we see the show?!
December 2019. See you there!
Amazing. Thanks so much Charice!