Grace Cummings in rehearsal for Berlin. Photo: Charlie Kinross
Grace Cummings in rehearsal for Berlin. Photo: Charlie Kinross


Grace Cummings Q&A

Pretending to be somebody else is both a profession and a hobby for Grace Cummings.

By Melanie Sheridan

Grace Cummings makes her MTC debut as Charlotte in Joanna Murray-Smith’s new play, Berlin. She answers a few rapid-fire questions for us.

What excites you about working on this play? What challenges does it present?

I suppose the answer to both of these questions are pretty much the same: it is both exciting and a challenge to be in a brand new two-hander. It’s a challenge to come back to the theatre to play a German woman after a pretty large break to work as a musician. But also it’s so awesome that I am able to do both of those things!

You were cast in 2019 and have now had a long time to sit with this role. Have your thoughts and approach to the character changed at all over the past 12 months? Who is Charlotte in 2021?

I have been cast for a while, yes. I think that if I focused on this throughout the 2020 lockdowns I’d go pretty mental so I put it away and was able to come back in 2021 with fresh eyes and a lot of newly acquired patience. Charlotte is the same as she always was, I reckon.

How do you embody Charlotte – for example, movement, voice, mannerisms?

I think the most important part is the German accent. It’s getting there with the help of Voice & Dialect Coach Anna McCrossin-Owen, who is my favourite.

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

I’ll have to wait and see what it is for this one I think. I suppose I’ll make sure I’ve seen some sun that day, or gone for a walk. The ritual is yet to reveal itself.

Performing artists were among the hardest hit by 2020. Apart from the initial loss of work, how did 2020 impact you? What tactics did you use to get through it?

I bought a new sewing machine, started quilting and pretended I was someone else.

You’re a musician as well as an actor; which came first, acting or music?

I wouldn’t have a clue. The qualities for both are the same I think.

Any other hidden creative talents?

I can lick my elbow. That might be the extent of it!

Published on 14 April 2021

Explore More