When she wasn’t on stage, a huge presence was missing. So said the Royal Shakespeare Company’s head of casting after a performance by Fiona Mikel.
And Hannah Miller clearly wasn’t referring to slimline Fiona’s figure, speaking instead of her ‘exceptional, deeply felt and detailed performance.’
Now the Emsworth-born actress, who has lived in the area all her life, is to perform with professional company FellSwoop at Havant tomorrow.
She will take part in Most Drink In Secret, a three-hander adapted from Chekhov classic The Seagull, ahead of further performances in London, Manchester and Bristol.
Fiona says the play is set in a lake-house in 1980s Russia, ‘using that era’s sentimental arts culture to dive head-first into a family’s throes of passion.’
It blurs the lyrics of seminal 1980s songs with Chekhov’s classic text to shed new light on the characters’ relationships and uncover moments of natural laughter within tragic circumstances.
As the actors subtly switch from one character into the next, FellSwoop use an original atmospheric soundtrack and video projection.
Fiona, a former pupil of Portsmouth High School, then took the acclaimed theatre studies course at Warwick University, graduating with first-class honours last summer.
It was there, twice taking part in plays that were selected among the 10 to be performed at the National Student Drama Festival, that she came to the RSC’s attention.
Fiona is now working with Chichester Festival Theatre’s youth satellite group at Leigh Park, devising performances with teenagers, and she hopes to go to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) or London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) this autumn.
· Most Drink In Secret will be at the Spring Arts Centre (7.30pm). Tickets: (023) 9247 2700.