SALLY FAULKNER appears in Frontier Theatre’s double bill Spring/The Last Dance at The Theatre Room. Frontier Theatre is a theatre company set by James Roose-Evans to create “theatre for the Third Age.” It aims to make use of the best of a neglected generation of mature 60-plus actors by providing them with work that is equal to their talent, and to ensure through a rolling programme of workshops that younger actors can learn from the experience of their older colleagues. The double bill runs until 5th November – buy tickets here.
Theatre Bubble: Frontier Theatre was formed to provide better opportunities for older actors. Are older people under-represented onstage?
Sally Faulkner: I don’t think older people are under-represented but I think the way they are represented is sometimes a bit stereotypical. They are often -‘gran’, a cleaning lady, batty aunt, or an oversexed mother in law. The complexities – and hopefully clarity – that come with age are ignored. A lot can be learnt from seeing where the building blocks went wrong, and how people have gone on to live with mistakes or trauma. Funnily enough it’s soap opera that mostly represent that age group!
TB: What can you tell us more about this double bill and your role within it?
SF: The double bill is beautifully put together. Spring is about a young girl, her fears and a realistic assessment of her future.
The Last Dance deals with the other end of the age range: a wife dealing with impending death who wants redemption from her husband over her infidelities. I play Suzanne, the wife, and I fully understand her fears – she needs to evaluate her relationship and come to terms with her own misdemeanours. She is so full of self-loathing that she can’t believe nor accept the unconditional love that is being offered to her.
TB: What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career as an actor?
SF: Please don’t ask me for advice as a young actor – I took all the wrong decisions! Or did I? Who knows! There are so many variants … Family, love, finances.
TB: What would you most like to change about the industry?
SF: I was lucky enough to get a grant to go to drama school – I think it’s tragic that that is no longer available for everyone – not just in our world – the talents and brains that could enrich our lives are not brought to fruition. But I see that some people are able to be savvy with media and take more control over how they are perceived. If you can use that sort of thing well you can generate a lot more work for yourself.