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‘I feel totally at home in the theatre’: an interview with Charlotte Hope

6 October 2017 Will Rathbone

In just a few short years, Charlotte Hope's career has gone from strength to strength. Now starring in Almedia's production of 'Albion', she talks to London calling about the venue, a love of the theatre and cake.

London Calling: Thanks for speaking to us! Could you tell us a bit about Albion and the role that you play?
Charlotte Hope: It’s a play about family and what it means to be British. It’s about a woman, Audrey played by Victoria Hamilton, who buys an old English home and wants to restore it. I play her daughter Zara. They have a relationship I think a lot of people will understand, fractious but bound by bloodline. It’s a character study about a family and their relationships and how that disintegrates. I’m really excited for the audience to get to see it ’cause it’s magic.
LC: Have you performed at the Almedia before?
CH: No! I’ve been seeing plays here forever and I’ve always thought it was the pinnacle of theatre, so to be here on my third theatre job is… I’m pinching myself really. My boyfriend’s father gave me, when I was auditioning, his Almedia membership card as a kind of lucky charm: I’ve still got it! I’m just really excited to be a part of this place which is so well respected and produces such brilliant work.
LC: How is it working with director Rupert Goold?
CH: He’s amazing. I think he’s a brilliant director; he’s so intelligent. Everything he says is really spot on. He brings such clarity and specificity to every point, and that's exactly the way I like to work. I feel like I’ve learned more in a few weeks with him than I have in years. It’s no surprise the work he produces is so brilliant.
LC: You've performed on stage before, in a 2016 production of Buried Child, written by Sam Shepard. Did you notice a big change in the writing style from that play, written by a classic American writer and English playwright Mike Bartlett's writing in Albion?
CH: As an actress I always try to find the truth in whatever I’m saying. I think both of those playwrights are just so talented and such brilliant writers that for an actor it’s a total gift. In that sense they haven’t seemed hugely dissimilar to me so I’ve approached it in the same way.
LC: Is theatre something you’d like to do more of going forward then compared to film?
CH: I love it all! I’ve done a year now of lots of theatre and its been a total joy. This rehearsal process just means I get to practice acting every day, and I feel like I’m getting better which is really exciting for me as an actress. I’d love to go back and do more film and TV as well. But, at the moment, I feel totally at home here, which is a really magic thing for an actor, because so often we feel so adrift.
LC: Do you go to the theatre a lot and what are some of your highlights?
CH: Yes. I just thought [The 2017 production of Federico García Lorca play] Yerma was so brilliant. Billie Piper is kind of an idol of mine, I think she’s electric and amazing; I could see that show over and over again. She’s a great role model for me.
Are you a Londoner? What are some of your favourite places to go eat or go hang out?
CH: I go to the same places the whole time. No imagination! The Camberwell Arms, in Camberwell, has some of the best food I’ve eaten in London. Every weekend, when we say, ‘where shall we eat this weekend?’ I inevitably always end up there. They had this amazing caramelized pecan and brown sugar ice cream last week that I’ve been dreaming about ever since. I’m also obsessed with this cake shop Konditor and Cook which has something called a curly wurly cake which is a staple of my diet. When I was at uni, I would buy a whole cake and take it back to Oxford and eat it through the week ’cause I thought it was the best thing ever. I’ve got a sweet tooth!
LC: Are there any books, or albums or exhibitions, something you’ve seen recently that you’ve really enjoyed.
CH: I’m really obsessed with The National’s new album Sleep Well Beast; I’m seeing them play next week and I’m super excited about that. And I thought Lorde’s album was totally amazing, so I’m seeing that next week too. I really love live music. I’m always going to as many gigs as I can. 
Charlotte Hope stars in Albion at the Almedia, Almedia Street N1 1TA from the 10th of October to 24th November 2017.  Tickets from £10

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