Olivia played by Annette McLaughlin
Twelfth Night (2017)
Written by: William Shakespeare
Annette trained at London Studio Centre.
Previous theatre includes: Billy Elliot (UK Tour); Meow Meow’s Pandemonium (Royal Albert Hall); The Odyssey, Our Town (Almeida Theatre); The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice, Volpone, Written on the Heart, Measure for Measure (RSC); Apocalypse Meow: Crisis is Born (Southbank Centre); Brief Encounter (US/UK/Australia Tour/Kneehigh); Matilda (Cambridge Theatre); Written on the Heart (Duchess Theatre); She Loves Me (Chichester); Noises Off (Birmingham Rep); BBC Proms Sondheim Concert (Royal Albert Hall); Chicago (West End/10th Anniversary); Anything Goes (National Theatre/West End); Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Theatre); Damn Yankees (Adelphi Theatre); Beauty and the Beast (Dominion Theatre); Crazy for You (Prince Edward Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV Part I, High Society (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Singin’ in the Rain (National Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Vagina Monologues (UK Tour); Tomorrow Morning (New End Theatre); 5/11, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Chichester Festival Theatre/TMA Award Nomination); Imagine This (Theatre Royal Plymouth), and Into the Woods (Derby Playhouse).
Television includes: Heartbeat, The Frank Skinner Show, Legionnaire, Lunar IV, and Law & Order UK.
Annette McLaughlin featured as part of the Adopt an Actor interview series for this production.
"What have I learnt about Olivia...? Well, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learnt is that she’s a really complex character, like we all are. She’s full of contradictions...each night is more and more contradictions about her. She’s so human, she’s not a two dimensional character..."
As the final refrain of 'We Are Family' rings out, Annette reflects on her time with her newfound Globe family.
"It’s always a bit sad, because you’ve put so much into playing the character that it’s sometimes hard to let go of. But I think it’s the whole experience actually that I’ll find hard letting go of. It’s being on that stage and looking out, and knowing that there’s nothing like the Globe and its audiences..."
With three performances to go, Annette thinks about what she's leaving behind and what she'll take with her from this experience.
"The Midnight Matinee was a whole other experience actually. There’s something about being all in it together at that time of night, you and the audience; it's very magical and very weird. And then we sat and we watched the sun come up over St Paul’s afterwards altogether, which was really lovely..."
Catching up after the Midnight Matinee, Annette looks back on that 'magical' evening.
"It is hard work on the body and your whole being, really. It takes a lot on that stage and although you’re mic’d, you’re not really mic’d that much so you do need to use a lot of your body. I make sure I warm up for at least 40 minutes before we do our on stage warm up all together..."
As the cast get used to the schedule of two show days, Annette takes us through her daily preparation for performing.
"There’s moments where I go back to the audience and treat them like a confessor: ask what they think about what’s going on. And it’s just really exciting to have that sort of arm of a theatre, arms around you with all these people..."
With Tech Week ticked off, Annette takes us through soliloquies, speeches, and confessing.
"In a normal world, I don’t think you ever really feel ready to tech. You always go, 'Oh God, it’s too soon!' But I think from what I hear, you learn a lot from being in front of the audiences. They tell you everything, so that will be exciting..."
As tech week approaches, Annette reveals the world of this production, the crucial moments so far, and the prospect of bringing the show before an audience.
"Olivia is this island and she's closed off, because she's had such grief from both her father and her brother dying. The household is just being run from one hour to the next: it's order and trying to get through the day. And this young man arrives and you see a chink, a little bit of light enter into her..."
As we enter Week 4 of rehearsals, Annette talks about her initial impressions of Olivia, character shrines, and grief.
"I’ve been finishing Billy Elliot in Birmingham, and it doesn't feel completely different. There’s similarities with having known how to sing a song, where to breathe, how to phrase it. I think that really helps with Shakespeare: knowing the rhythm of it, knowing about breath, and using your whole body..."
Coming straight from the Billy Elliot tour, Annette discusses her previous experience with Shakespeare, performing at the Globe for the first time, and musicals vs. plays.