Final thoughts on my first trip to the Edinburgh Fringe or lessons in diverse programming
Review: Who fixes the fixer in thriller The Peregrine, Stockwell Playhouse

Interview: Former child actor Hatty Jones talks about her first play That Girl, Old Red Lion

Hatty Jones draws on her own experience as a child actor, plucked from obscurity to star in a big budget film, for her debut play That Girl which explores growing up and female friendships.

Hatty JonesYou’ve made short films before, what made you choose theatre as a medium for this particular story?

I had wanted to write a play for a while, and this story felt like the best fit.

I wanted the audience to be in the room with the characters, to understand their motives and watch the action play out in real time. It felt necessary to this particular narrative.

And I love that the audience might feel differently about it every night.

That Girl is based on your own personal experiences, did that make it hard to write or was it a cathartic exercise?

It felt like a natural step to write about something that was such a big part of my childhood, especially as it was such an unusual situation. 

The story centres on two periods of big life changes, one of which most will be familiar, the other very few will have experienced - what are you hoping audiences take away?

I hope the audience can relate to all the characters - including Hatty. Not everyone will have experienced being a child actor, but they may have similar feelings about growing up.

The play is about the reality of adult life, the loss of innocence which everyone goes through. 

What's the process from stage to page been like? 

I play Hatty, in the play so I'm very involved and we are currently in the middle of the rehearsal process.

Ticket ImageIt is quite amazing to watch the play come to life, I feel incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful, talented team working on the play, including Tim Cook, Artistic Director of Broken Silence Theatre and director of the play.

Why is it important for stories about female friendships to be told?

My female friends are the greatest loves of my life. They are certainly my longest relationships and have just as many intricacies and nuances as any of my romantic relationships.

Friendships change and adapt over the years, I have always found them fascinating. There is also the 'group' dynamic, the loyalties and allegiances that can be very complicated. So much is unsaid. 

Do you think the tide is finally turning from male-dominated narratives?

We still have a long way to go, but I think it is starting to turn, yes. I am surrounded by women making, writing and performing their own work.

My partner Amani Zardoe and I specifically create female-driven stories, with our platform HeavyWait, including our gangster film 'The Silent Gangsters'.

Tell us something most people don’t know about life on a Hollywood film set?

'Madeline' was filmed in Paris - and we had amazing food every day. I ate cubes of chocolate in bread most mornings.

That Girl is at the Old Red Lion Theatre 3-15 September and you can read my review here.

Want to read more interviews with fringe theatre makers?

"We don't go to the theatre to watch sane people talking about normal things" - Simon Evans and David Aula on performing a double bill

Likeable female characters in The Thelmas Edinburgh play Ladykiller.

TV's Su Pollard talks about making her Fringe debut in a piece written for her.

Actor Angus Doughty-Castle talks about untold gangster stories in Incognito Theatre's Tobacco Road.