Jade Anouka is an English actress and director, writer known for Zebra Girl (2021), Last Christmas (2019) and Great Performances, His Dark Materials and more. Anouka took her first steps into acting while attending a Saturday morning drama club in Dartford, Kent. While at sixth form, Anouka received a scholarship to the National Youth Theatre and then attended the Guildford School of Acting. She was hired immediately after graduation by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, where she earned a postgraduate award in teaching Shakespeare. Since then, Anouka’s career has gone from strength to strength including adding writing and directing credits to her bow. During lockdown she directed, wrote, and produced short film HER and HER. Now her new play Heart is about to open in NY. HEART will begin on Saturday, July 9 with an official opening on Sunday, July 17 at the Minetta Lane Theatre, Audible’s creative home for live performances in New York. The limited engagement will run for five weeks only, through Sunday, August 14, directed by Ola Ince. ALT caught up with Anouka for a quick chat about the stories she loves to tell…. and more….
- Why and when did you decide to start writing and filmmaking?
I’ve always written. I’ve often felt that there is more that I want to say. Writing gives me the chance to do work that I really believe in, that’s normally a luxury. And as for filmmaking we’ll I don’t believe I am a filmmaker, yet the short film I made in lockdown wouldn’t have happened without lockdown. I was eager to carry on creating and an opportunity made itself known and I grabbed it with both hands.
- what kind of stories do you want to tell?
ones that I recognise, ones that I wish existed when I was younger, ones that I wish were being made. If you want something done… as they say…
- Tell us about Heart which is about to open in New York how did it get to NY?
HEART is my debut play I wrote it in 2018 it was supposed to happen in 2020 then covid hit and the theatres shut. However, I AUDIBLE were already interested. When theatres began to open audible asked me if I would consider doing the play with them in their theatre in NYC, I of course, jumped at the chance.
- In Broadway online you say you can’t wait to tell your story: is Heart autobiographical?
Yes, it is. I would say semi-autobiographical, about 90% and then the remaining 10percent has been embellished for dramatically effect.
- Who is the main character what is their motivation?
The central character is a woman trying to be her authentic self, trying to live honestly.
- Does writing the play and acting in it make it more or less challenging as an actor?
good question I’ve never performed in my own play before, so we’ll see! However, I have performed my poetry before and that is really scary. You have nothing to fall back on. It’s all you up there. But on the other hand, you understand the character and their intentions completely.
- What do you like about writing?
Being able to say what I want to say about the world. Being able to write characters I want to play!
- Tell us a bit about Audible Theatre and the global release?
The global audio release is really exciting. This is my first play so to have it available internationally is really something special. It’s a bit strange that it will be available to listen to before the stage production. But I love that those who can’t make it to the theatre yet to experience it and, I hope that those who do listen to the audio production also come and see it live too if they can as live theatre adds another dimension.
- Do you have a fave place in NY?
I LOVE NYC! I have been very lucky to work there 5 times before staying for over a month every time it’s somewhere I feel like home away from home. Brooklyn has been a fave place, Fort Greene, and DUMBO but also, I frequent the late-night jazz bars and thrift stores. So, in answer to your question no I don’t have a fave place I have many.
- Where do you call home?
HEART CAST AND CREATIVE
If you can not make it down to New York then On Thursday, June 2, HEART is also to be released as an Audible Original, reaching millions of Audible listeners around the world. For more information and ticket visit: https://hearttheplay.com/