Powerful Drama as Cathy Tyson Lights up Derby Stage for First Time

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An article form The Derby Telegraph.

IT was simple things which brought Cathy Tyson to her latest role.

The experienced actress has a wealth of stage and television experience and that background will be brought into her first appearance in Derby when she appears in She Called Me Mother at Derby Theatre Studio.

It is the debut show from Pitch Lake Productions, which was founded by Cathy, writer Michelle Inniss and director Cara Nolan, a graduate of the University of Derby.

It is also the second show to tour for the Black Theatre Live consortium, following their first acclaimed production of Macbeth came to Derby Theatre earlier this year.

Cathy said: “This role is a big challenge and I like challenges.

“It’s got fantastic language and a great script which really got me interested.

“As soon as I saw the script I was hooked because I thought I could offer something different and special to the role.

“That’s a huge positive for me and makes me go for it.”

The play has strong themes of domestic violence and homelessness.

She plays the part of Evangeline Gardner – a homeless, 70-year-old Afro-Caribbean woman, who finds herself living on the streets. The play brings together Evangeline and her estranged daughter, Shirley, together.

Cathy has been playing the part across the country to acclaim and felt that her first performance in Derby would be interesting.

She said: “I often find that, if I’ve not been to a place before and I like it, then I keep going back.

“I’m sure that will be the same with Derby.

“The play has really made me learn. I’ve got to really get into the themes and understand the character.

“It’s about problems and things which are happening on society.

“The character really goes through a great deal and it’s about recovering from those issues.”

Pitch Lake Productions was formed to address the lack of leading roles in British Theatre for black, Asian and minority ethnic mid-career actors.

Cathy, a Golden Globe-nominated actress with over three decades of experience in the industry, is perhaps best known for her leading role in the 1986 film Mona Lisa with Bob Hoskins.

She said: “I’m a mixed-race actress but playing this part doesn’t feel like a burden. I see it as a great challenge and something

I’m relishing.”

The play has also got people at Derby Theatre excited as well.

Sarah Brigham, the theatre’s artistic director and chief executive, said “I’m delighted that our consortium have selected such an exciting prospect.

“The combination of experienced artists such as Cathy Tyson and Michelle Innes with an emerging director like Cara Nolan signals the combination of quality and innovation which Black Theatre Live is all about. The poetry of the script blew me away and I’m looking forward to bringing our audiences an unheard voice and story told through powerful and engaging drama.”

WHAT: She Called Me Mother

WHERE: Derby Theatre Studio

WHEN: Thursday and Friday, November 5 and 6 at 8pm.

TICKETS: £10, concessions £7.

BOX OFFICE: 01332 593939 or visit http://www.derbytheatre.co.uk

For the original report go to http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Powerful-drama-Cathy-Tyson-lights-Derby-stage/story-28080046-detail/story.html#ixzz3qOv01RiB

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