The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the incredible Hannah Morrish, who is currently playing Anna in The Darkest Part of the Night. Some of Hannah's other acting credits include: Call the Midwife, All's Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus and Julius Caesar

Get yourself comfy and join Hannah and I for a chat about all things stagey!

Hi Hannah, thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page today! How are you? And would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into acting?
Very well, thank you. My name is Hannah Morrish and I'm an actor and writer. I started acting in a theatre company when I was young, with directors who put on challenging plays (like Hamlet, Spring Awakening, Peer Gynt) and treated us young actors like professionals. I went on to the National Youth Theatre, and from then got into drama school.  

Your next production, The Darkest Part of the Night, starts previews on 14th July. Can you tell us about the play?
The Darkest Part of the Night is a new play by Zodwa Nyoni, and centres around a brother and sister, Dwight and Shirley, grieving the death of their mother, Josephine. Dwight is autistic, and in order to process his grief finds himself falling back into memories of his family and their experiences in Leeds in 1981.The play deals with prejudice and ignorance, systemic racism and ableism. But it is overall a play about hope, family, joy, and healing wounds. 

You're set to play Anna in the world premiere of The Darkest Part of the Night - how are you preparing for the role? Have rehearsals began yet?
Yes, I play Anna who is a newly-qualified social worker assigned to the family in 1981. We're almost at the end of rehearsals and Nancy Medina (the play's director) has had images and information all over the rehearsal room walls from the very first week, because the specific context and history of the play is so important, and we all need to have a very clear shared world of the play and our characters within it. That's been a huge part of preparing. 

With it being the world premiere of the show, is there more or less pressure on you as an actor, than if you're tackling an already established piece?
I'm aware of wanting to do justice to Zodwa's story. Her writing is so nuanced and I don't want to lose any of that nuance in performance. But there is also a freedom in knowing that this is the first time this story will ever be said.

Regardless of gender and age, which stage role would you choose to play and why?
I'd love to play Iago as a woman. I've always wanted to get inside the character's head. 

Did you always know that you wanted to be on stage growing up?
I did. My grandad collected plays, and when he died, he left his collection to me. Since then, I've always wanted to act. 

What are you most excited about for starting the run? And why should people book tickets to see the show?
I'm excited to see how the play changes with the audience. It's both a joyous and heart-breaking play. And a part of British history that is so important we remember, to challenge similar prejudices being held now and in the future. 

A question I ask everyone that appears on Stagey Chat. My blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?
There are so many, but I've just been in a play with the actor Sophie Ward, and have just finished her first novel Love and Other Thought Experiments. It's one of the best, most moving novels I've ever read, and whilst I don't think I'd be able to adapt it myself, I'd love to try. 

Thank you so much for chatting to us, Hannah. You can catch The Darkest Part of the Night, here.

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