10 questions for 10 years – Abi Zakarian

I ask playwright Abi Zakarian to kick off round two of my 10 Questions for 10 Years feature

Abi Zakarian’s I Have A Mouth And I Will Scream kinda blew the roof off the VAULT Festival in 2018 and so she’s definitely a writer to watch out for, if indeed she’s not already on your radar – she has won a Fringe First too. But it is I Have A Mouth… that I will be putting on in my theatre when I win the lottery and I asked Abi to kindly share some thoughts about the play:

“Apart from the unbelievable amount of love and revolutionary fervour it seemed to inspire I actually really loved your review of it Ian – the bit at the end where you stated you’d changed your font for the review because of what you’d read in the Womanifesto made me choke up a little bit. So thank you.”

  • Where were you 10 years ago?

    I was still working full time as a picture editor for a newspaper, writing plays in my spare time and having absolutely no clue about the byzantine nature of this industry, trying to pick it up as I went along, like a fool.

  • Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?

    Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal’s Masurca Fogo at Sadlers Wells. I’ve never had a transcendental experience in theatre until I saw this. It took my breath away with the sheer unadulterated magnificent possibility of it all.

    And a special mention for Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker at Barbican – earplugs and splash mac provided, tofu, water and seaweed thrown at the audience, stage invasion a requirement. I adore messy theatre, so I loved this more than I can ever adequately express.

  • What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?

    Winning a Fringe First for my play Fabric.

  • Top flavour of interval ice-cream?

    Gin.

  • What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?

    No more Hamlet please, am so over all the A-listers who want to give us another deeply fuckboi take. And anything with the words Orchard, Sisters or Doll’s House in the title.

  • Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?

    There are far too many brilliant women to list here but focusing just on directors: Rafaella Marcus, Hannah Hauer-King, Jen Tan, Audrey Sheffield, Yasmeen Arden, Fran Fuentes and Nastazja Somers are all incredible directors making detailed, diverse work and should be filling our stages on a regular basis.

  • Elphaba or Glinda?

    Nah. Éponine all the way.

  • What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?

    Massive funding for theatre in schools. And by that I mean state schools.

  • Which is your favourite theatre?

    The ones the previously mentioned women above will be running soon if there’s any justice in this world.

  • Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?

    I’ve got a musical happening next year. In the next few years there’s a couple of commissions for plays and also a telly thing. And the ubiquitous bazillion projects ‘in development’.

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