Ola Ince is currently in her last week of rehearsals before opening Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 at the Gate Theatre – a one-woman play about the riots in Los Angeles in 1992, following the death of Rodney King in police custody. Winner of the Genesis Future Directors Award and Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith, we caught up with her in the middle of rehearsal to glean some words of wisdom about the play itself and its relevance today.
How are rehearsals going?
Great, but sadly its almost over. We’re about to make the big transition to the theatre
What do you and the creative team love about Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992?
The raw and bold expression.
The unimaginable truths that people tell.
The unique voices.
The fact that there are no creative boundaries means that we’re free to make a space that holds 23 voices and 80 bodies in an unconventional way.
What kind of work did you and Nina Bowers have to do as preparation before heading into rehearsals?
We’ve watched lots of documentaries, read autobiographies, novels and listened to podcasts.
We’ve visited art galleries and found inspiration from artists like Basquiat and Modigliani.
But most importantly we’ve let the words of a diverse group of people led us. Then we turned up to the rehearsal room and played.
What particular challenges does this piece represent when in the rehearsal room?
The biggest challenge has been falling in love with every single person in the play, as there are some very difficult opinions to digest. Its also been challenging for us to get a sense of how an audience may transform the play, as the piece revolves massively around conversations with the audience and the rehearsal room has been quiet intimate.
Why is Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 still so relevant today?
The play is relevant because sadly we still struggle with race relations, police brutality and inequality. In fact it may have gotten worse.
What do you hope the audience will take away from this experience?
That we can no longer pretend that the UK doesn’t have a race relations problem. That we can no longer ignore our biases and prejudices. That conversation doesn’t need to be comfortable, but they do need to happen or we’ll never move forward. If we hide behind PC conversations we’ll never be able to address the root of our issues, we’ll never truly be able to remedy our grievance and misunderstandings.
Are there any particular parting words or pieces of information you’d like us to know?
“In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race.” Reni Eddo-Lodge
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is playing at the Gate Theatre from the 11th of January to the 3rd of February. More information can be found on their website here.