Wake: Soup-er Theatre

Sookie Mei and Raven Mullan

Excerpts from recent emails with Sookie Mei and Raven Mullan, who star in Theatre Soup‘s Fringe production of Wake.

  1. TiL: What drew you to Wake?
  2. Sookie Mei: I first saw Wake performed years ago at the South SS Grade 12 final show. I really liked the show, but then forgot all about it. When I was searching for a show to do for this Fringe, my pal (and Theatre Soup co-founder) Anne-Marie Caicco suggested I do Wake, and I liked the idea. I read the play and really enjoyed it, and thought it would be great for the Fringe because of its length, the blend of comedy and drama in it, and the fact that there were only two characters. It seemed like a fun and easy show to mount.
  3. TiL: Any comments on the set? It seems tiny, but it’s perfect.
  4. Sookie Mei: Our director Judy McCormick wanted to bring the feeling of containment and a bit of claustrophobia to the set. The character of Ellen wants to escape, but can’t, and the set really shows that she is “stuck.” It is also funny that these two characters meet in a foyer and have a whole conversation there, when there is a whole house they could be in. It separates them from the rest of the people at the wake, and allows the audience to focus just on them, while recognizing that there is action going on elsewhere in the house.
  5. TiL: What has your first Fringe festival been like?
  6. Raven Mullan: Being a part of the fringe festival was a terrific experience! Compared to doing school shows or anything else I’ve been in it attracts a really neat audience…including people involved in other shows — it was a great place to connect with other actors in London and see some neat original work. Also I couldn’t have worked with a more amazing group of women for my first show. They made my first fringe experience so enjoyable!
  7. TiL: Can you compare and contrast the London Fringe festival to others?
  8. Sookie Mei: Theatre Soup has participated in almost every London Fringe, and we have enjoyed it to
    various degrees throughout the years. There was a lot of excitement in the beginning, with the new ideas and events taking place. It was great to do something that other cities have done successfully. […] In other fringe fests I have attended, there is always a gathering of performers and audience members, and everyone knows where to meet between shows and at night. A real sense of camaraderie develops. […] I was happy a few years ago when Club Fringe was at the APK, and they set up
    beer and food tents and cordoned off the road. It felt like a real meeting
    place, a fun venue with lots going on.
  9. TiL: Theatre Soup has been going for 10 years. Do you have anything special planned to mark the anniversary?
  10. Sookie Mei:

    Yes, we have been doing shows under the Theatre Soup banner for 10 whole years now! It all started in July of 1998, with our first production, Crimes of the Heart. We performed it in the back room at the old Forest City Gallery location on Dundas Street, and it was a hit! We have just kept going since then, and we will keep going as long as I have the time and energy and people around me to make it happen! Sadly, Lil Malinich moved to New York City, and Anne-Marie Caicco moved to Oakville, so I have been left to carry the TS torch. I will do my best!

    Our upcoming production is exciting — it is Agnes of God, in November at The Arts Project. I am so thrilled to have theatre veteran Carol Robinson-Todd in the cast, as well as the great performer Kathy Quayle. It will be a knock-out show!

  11. The final performance of Wake takes place Saturday afternoon at 5:30 in The ARTS Project theatre. Dates for Agnes of God will be announced nearer the production date.