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A look into The Lower Depths at the Arcola Theatre

The Lower Depths is running at the Arcola Theatre until Saturday 11th February. The play features two Winterson’s actors, James Simmons, as well as recent signing, Ved Sapru. We caught up with Ved to find out a little more about the play and other projects on the horizon.

Please introduce us to The Lower Depths…
It’s a show about real people. People we pass by every day without a second thought. It’s this very reality that we choose to ignore on a daily basis and that brings out the question-if we ignore a reality, how can we change it? [Maxim] Gorky’s text has so much depth to it – I’m still discovering things now – two weeks into our run – things about my character and things about myself.

And you’re working alongside James Simmons, an actor we have had on our books for a while… how influential was he in deciding to join the Winterson’s books?
James Simmons makes everything he does look effortless and he’s been such a great guy to look up to. He spoke very highly of the agency, but really it was the team at Winterson’s that won me over. I think the moment Niki said ‘I know how important family is for an artist to flourish’ that was all I needed to hear. I just felt at home.

You’re one of those annoyingly talented people who writes successfully as well as acts! Could you tell us a little bit more about that side of your career?
I wrote a play for the International Festival of New Work (East15) called Moonstruck. It’s a retelling of a story my Grandmother would tell me: How the Moon fell in love with the Sun – over and over again in an endless cycle. It should be made available to the London public very shortly. I’m also currently writing for a new project, a story about an autistic child and his pet snails, exploring how we communicate with our environment, whether we realise it or not.

And finally, despite all of these credits you’re actually still at drama school! What types of projects would you like to focus on once you graduate?
Back home in India, I come from a deeply rooted theatre family. The stage will always be my first love in a way, but I can hear TV and film trying to entice me. I am quite eager to see what the near future holds! I’ve just recently been cast as Chief Bromden in a final year production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which I feel is a role of life time for me – it opens on the 23rd of March at the Corbett Theatre.