Caro Meets Theatre Interview

Sophie Craig: I Love You, Now What?

By | Published on Friday 21 April 2023

I was interested when I heard about ‘I Love You, Now What?’ – written by and starring Sophie Craig – on more than one count.

Its themes – grief and the impact it has on personal relationships – are promising, but it’s also a show that’s headed up to edfringe later this summer, and you know how invested we at TW Towers are in anything Festival Fringe. 

The play has a short run at the Pleasance Theatre this week. To find out more about Sophie, and what to expect from her work, I arranged a quick chat. 

CM: Can you start by telling us about the plot of ‘I Love You, Now What?’ What story does it tell? 
SC: ‘I Love You, Now What?’ is a window into the impact grief has on your intimate relationships, and explores feeling grief before someone dies as well as after they are gone. It’s funny, heartbreaking and raw.

CM: What themes are explored through the play? 
SC: Love, hope and the human condition.

CM: What inspired you to create this? What made you want to tell this story? Is there anything of your own experience in it?
SC: It was inspired by some elements of my Dad’s story, and some of my experiences. He passed away in 2019 from an aggressive brain cancer and the impact it had on my whole family was huge.

What I wasn’t ready for was the impact it had on my relationship. Grief has been done a lot on stage, but I haven’t seen it told like this, and all in a funny, working class, raw and honest way.

I wanted to write this because I really think everyone can take something from it. The amazing thing with sharing stories is that they can become a part of someone else’s survival guide.

The first thing we do, when we receive bad news, or feel something or someway, is look for stories of those who have also experienced it.

This is something that always compels me and keeps me going when I’m writing from any kind of truth

CM: You’ve written the play and you also perform in it. Did you always plan to perform in it yourself? 
SC: Yeah for sure! I’m all in! Haha!

CM: Can you tell us about the other performers and the roles they play? 
SC: Yes of course! We have the most amazing cast. Ceri Bedingfield was the casting director on the show and did the most brilliant job.

I play Ava. Andy Umerah plays Theo, Ava’s boyfriend, and Sean McLeavy plays the roles of Dad and John, the therapist. I’m so excited to be working with such talented souls!

CM: I gather the play will be on at edfringe this summer too. What made you want to take the play to the Festival? What are you looking forward to about being there? 
SC: I went to Edinburgh Fringe for the first time last year and it was just incredible! The most amazing atmosphere! I had always wanted to go.

I said to myself then ‘I’m going to have a show here one day’, and little did I know the following year we would be given the opportunity to be there! It’s bucket list stuff for sure as an actor, and to be able to take this produciton up there feels really surreal. I hope it’s just the start for ‘ILYNW?’

I am massively excited to be there with so many like minded people and to see as many shows as possible. Edinburgh is such an amazing city and being there during the Fringe is just a dream!

CM: Can we talk a bit about your history, now? Did you always want to work in the arts? How did your career begin? 
SC: I have always performed. I started dancing classes when I was eighteen months old and always subjected my family to living room performances for as long as I can remember!

I always dreamed of performing but was brought up to always have a plan B. I studied really hard and went on to do five full A levels and was set on med school.

Then I couldn’t imagine a life without performing and pulled out and went to drama school! I moved down to London at 21 and threw myself into it, completely naive as to how everything worked.

CM: What have been the highlights of your career thus far? 
SC: Honestly, every time I get to work on a set or stage or with creatives, doing what I love, that is the highlight. I am so grateful for every job and every opportunity given.

It’s a tough industry and I can be hard on myself, so I’m learning to try and just appreciate every moment. I’ve done some really cool feature films recently where I was lucky enough to play the leads, with lots of fighting!

I love anything physical, but honestly, every job is a joy and a blessing. Putting on ‘ILYKNW?’ is pretty damn cool though…

CM: How does performing on stage compare to working on film/TV. Do you have a preference? 
SC: I adore film and TV but I do love the stage. I adore being on set and the end result of seeing the film/project is always amazing. But there is something so special about stage work. Once it’s done, it’s done. The thrill of being there, live and in front of a live audience is amazing.

CM: What aims and ambitions do you have for the future? 
SC: I would love this show to get a run in the West End, hopefully win some lovely awards and get some of my own TV/film projects on the go out there into the world! Not much, haha!

CM: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline? What’s coming up for you next? 
SC: I have a few things lined up which is lovely! Of course, there is Edinburgh Fringe which I am super excited about, and hopefully this show gets a life somewhere else after it too! 

I also have some really cool feature films that have recently been released or are due for release. I recently played Marian in ‘The Adventures Of Maid Marian’ and have a film out soon called ‘Fortunes Of War’ where I played a French sniper called Annette, and a sci-fi film too.

I have written a children’s book to help children with grief which is currently in the works, and I just intend to keep ploughing on and hopefully have some more amazing opportunities to do what I love.

‘I Love You, Now What’ is on at Pleasance Theatre from 25-29 Apr. For more information and to book tickets, see the venue website here.