A catalogue of romantic mistakes | Isabelle Warrington

Blind dates can be a hotbed of – and Gina Gionfriddo’s Off-Broadway hit Becky Shaw shows how it can all go wrong. We speak to Isabelle Warrington about her take on the titular character in Masquerade’s upcoming production.

Isabelle Warrington.
Isabelle Warrington.

What attracted you to this role?

I liked the script as a whole. I enjoy working on plays that deal with human relationships as it requires quite a lot of thought when you start to peel off the layers. The role is an interesting one as Becky Shaw's character is not as clear-cut as it seems at the start.

Can you relate to the character in any way?

I can't say that I feel like her in any way (thankfully!) but I can understand her. I can think of people I have met who are like her or have some of her traits and that is where I draw my inspiration from in order to be able to portray her in the most honest way possible.

What do you hope women will take away from Becky's misadventures throughout the course of the play... and what about men?

We meet Becky at a time in her life when she has more or less lost the plot. She started out with the right intentions but her bad judgement, lack of confidence and the flaws in her personality have led her to financial and emotional instability which are not the best traits for anyone who is looking for a long-term relationship. Her attitude before, during and after the blind date smacks of desperation. I hope anyone who is in a similar situation, male or female, would be able to identify it in themselves and do something about it.

What kind of humour can we expect from the play?

I think the script is very sharp and beautifully written with some powerful lines. I would say that this play is witty and often scathing as it gives us the opportunity to laugh at human weakness. Black comedy at its best.

Is the blind date a good set-up for drama?

It is a good starting point in this play as everything kicks off from there. From the blind date situation we get to know a great deal about all the characters and how they play off each other.

What have been your favourite kind of roles?

I enjoy any role that is challenging. I have enjoyed playing a middle class American wife who finds out her husband is having an affair with a goat in The Goat or Who is Sylvia? I enjoy taking part in musicals because I love music, and having the opportunity to experience all three disciplines - singing, dance and acting - in one show is fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Audrey 1 in Little Shop of Horrors and Velma in Chicago. Being part of Company was a big highlight in my acting career too. I relish a role that involves thought and research as was the case in Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession in which I played a working class woman in the late 19th century who climbed the social ladder by running a string of brothels. Having said that, I am not averse to playing the bimbo occasionally because nothing is more fun and liberating.

I tend to be cast in comic roles, probably because it is very close to my own character - I tend to see humour in most things and it helps me cope with life's ups and downs. And besides, it is a great feeling to be able to entertain an audience and have them laugh with you.

Becky Shaw is an interesting character to play and one that I have not explored before, therefore it is a new challenge for me. And I find it hard to resist a challenge!

Becky Shaw will be playing at St James Cavalier, Valletta over April 13-15; 20-22 and 27-29.