Caro Meets Theatre Interview

Jade Anouka: Chef

By | Published on Monday 15 June 2015

Sabrina Mahfouz’s highly acclaimed play ‘Chef’, won a Fringe First at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, and its star, Jade Anouka, garnered plaudits and a Stage Acting Excellence Award. So it’s great news for London theatre-goers that the show begins a run at Soho Theatre this week.

3rd August 2014. pop present Chef  as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. Big Belly Underbelly

I sent a few quick questions over to Jade, ahead of her upcoming performances.

CM: Can you start by telling us what ‘Chef’ is about – what happens in it?
JA: ‘Chef’ takes you on a journey of how the central character became a head Chef in a professional restaurant, but ended up running a prison kitchen.

CM: How would you describe the character you play? Do you relate to her? What made you want to play this role?
JA: She is written beautifully, and doesn’t always do what you might imagine, which I like. Our lives have not been similar, but she is determined, ambitious, fun, strong, and loves words and food… and I can relate to that!

CM: What themes does the show explore?
JA: The prison system, food and cooking, love, family.

CM: What style of performance is this – is it a drama or a comedy?
JA: It’s drama, but with a fair bit of humour, I hope.

CM: You first performed this show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year – has your performance changed or developed in any way since then?
JA: The show has changed a bit, in that the text has been tweaked. But the character of the chef that you meet is exactly the same.

CM: Can you tell us something about the playwright? Has she been directly involved in the production?
JA: Sabrina was very active in the development of the production the first time round. This time she has stayed away much more. She knows how much we believe in the show and has trust that we will honour her work.

CM: Is this production likely to see more performances beyond this run in London?
JA: I hope so. I’d love to take it to New York.

CM: You’ve done quite a bit of TV work as well as theatre in recent times – which do you enjoy most?
JA: It’s a hard question to answer; they are so different. I love the theatre and more of my work has been on stage. But I’ve had such good times filming TV, and I did my first lead in a feature film recently, which was great fun. It’s a low budget black and white sc-ifi called ‘The Dark Channel’. I’d love to do more stuff in front of the camera. But a healthy mix of both worlds is the dream.

CM: What’s next for you?
JA: Lots of things that I’m not allowed to say… but I did just do a little filming on a new Sky drama.

‘Chef’ is on at Soho Theatre until 4 July. See this page here for info and tickets.

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