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Feature | Katherine Tonkin plays with contradictions

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Katherine Tonkin tells us about her role as Bonnie in Joanna Murray-Smith’s new play Three Little Words.

What are you looking forward to most about playing Bonnie?

I’m loving Bonnie’s dry wit and uncensored truths. She says what she thinks which appears ruthless at times, but actually comes from a place of very raw vulnerability. She is outwardly very confident but when push comes to shove is really just terrified of being alone. I’m looking forward to playing out these contradictions in front of an audience. Having Kate Atkinson play my partner Annie is pretty wonderful too! I’m really looking forward to seeing how the nuances of their relationship grow and evolve throughout the season.

What is at the heart of Three Little Words?

How do we honour our own needs while staying alive and responsive to the needs of those around us? How do we continue to grow and stay engaged and invigorated within long term relationships? Is it selfish to pursue our own ideals of happiness? Or is anything else just dishonest? What is it to truly ‘see’ and ‘be seen’ by another? There are so many great questions at the heart of this play, and of course for all of them – there are no easy answers!

Why do you think theatre is a powerful medium?

There is something about the live, collective experience that gets me every time. It’s alchemy. To gather together for a moment in time to do nothing more than bare witness to human experience – it’s a pleasure and a privilege to partake in..

Three Little Words plays at Southbank Theatre from 22 April. Book now.

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