What most appealed to you about Good Grief?
I’ve always enjoyed Jody’s writing. He has a beautiful way of finding the moments we all experience in the big and small events that we all go through.
The story gives a poignant nod to the pandemic. Like the characters, do you feel changed by what we’ve all lived through?
In hindsight, yes. I feel very grateful that it happened at a time when I had a young daughter and I’ll always cherish that time we had together. It definitely had more sombre and stressful moments, but I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, which I’ve tried to hold on to right up until now.
You play Claire Walker, the eldest child in the foster family. How do you view her?
I see Claire as the self-appointed ‘head’ of the siblings. We meet her at a time of real grief and I think she’s channelling her emotions into hyperactive organisation. She’s highly strung and doesn’t take prisoners when it comes to her brother and sisters. I think underneath, she knows she could crumble at any moment if circumstances were to be out of her control.
In this play, the Walker family display a whole spectrum of emotions. Are there any similarities between the Walkers and your own family?
I think there are similarities, not only with mine, but a lot of families I’ve known throughout my life. The Walkers, like most families, have a step-parent present and children from different relationships and circumstances. The way they interact ranges from chaos to care in a very short space of time, and I can definitely relate to that.
What three words would you use to sum up Good Grief?
Relatable. Bittersweet. Loving.
What other plays would you compare it to?
Not a play, but I immediately thought of the TV series Succession when I first read the play. The internal politics, cutting Jibes, and historical dynamics of one family that bat words of deep love and disdain with a comfortability only families have.
Why should people come to see Good Grief?
It’s a funny, familiar, and life-affirming look at a family everyone will recognise.
We’d like to thank Anna for taking the time to speak to us and can’t wait for Good Grief to begin its 3-day run at The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple. Performances are between 24-26 June 2022, and you can book your ticket from the link below.
Please note that anyone who comes to see the play can get a copy of Spectrum for half price, making it £4.99 instead of £9.99. Simply keep hold of your theatre ticket and present it to us upon buying the book after its release on 8 September 2022 (International Literacy Day).