Angie Le Mar’s latest one-woman production runs for three weeks at the Soho Theatre and finds Angie stepping into new territory performing as six different people whose lives are intricately interwoven.
The range of characters include a spiritual lifestyle guru; a jaded actress holding onto the past; a teenager battling OCD and his best friend’s tortured soul; a wannabe model on the verge of unforeseen riches; a city executive coming to terms with daily solitude; and the reintroduction of Funny Black Women star Falushilah Falashilay.
“It has taken a while to get ‘In My Shoes’ to the stage,” says Angie. “But it's the show I've always wanted to do. I feel ready for this play. I am a better writer, and I feel confident enough as a performer to push myself. I've always wanted to work with the show’s director Femi Elufowoju Jr because I know we are going to create something really amazing. I am excited, in a new way, and that’s a great feeling. This production gives me a platform to build further on my abilities as an artiste.”
Angie is no stranger to the stage having broken box office records at the Edinburgh Festival with the show ‘Do You Know Where your Daughter Is?’
Angie admits the play was inspired by reality: “About four years ago, a young girl called into my radio show and asked if a situation she'd encountered was rape. It was. I left the show feeling there was a mother out there who didn't know her daughter had called a live radio show to find out if she was raped. That made me put pen to paper, and the play toured theatre, schools and colleges. I really wanted to open the debate, the fact that we need to look after our daughters. The reaction showed me that the conversation needed to be had, and it hasn't even touched the surface.”
From a very young age Angie knew she was a natural performer. She says: “I would entertain my family when there used to be blackouts. Once the candles came out I would just start performing. I was about nine or ten when I would ring LBC radio on a Saturday morning. They aired a show called Jellybones, which allowed listeners to call in and tell jokes. Once I started hearing the laughter that was it. I knew that being an actress wasn't going to be enough, and after watching black American stand up comedy I saw myself as part of that.”
Born and raised in Lewisham, SE London, Angie enjoyed her primary school days: “I loved my drama teacher Mr Woodgate – that’s when I was introduced to the stage. I struggled with secondary school and became quite disconnected from the educational system. I know now that my dyslexia had a lot to do with that, causing me to be unsettled and disruptive.
“My first career choice was social work. I worked with 16-25 year olds in residential care, but acting was foremost on my agenda.
“Live comedy gives me a great sense of satisfaction, although before I go on stage I feel nervous, very nervous, sometimes even depressed. But once I am on stage, I feel safe again.”
“I have always looked at things from a different point of view. At one time I thought it was just me that found things amusing, but once you let it out you realise people are with you. I don't feel any subjects are off limits when entertaining. If it's your thoughts, and you really feel strongly about something, the responsibility is yours. If you get it right, you feel great. If you get it wrong, it’s on you too. But you shouldn't shy away from it to be safe, or you'll never know your true voice.
Angie adds: “I feel fortunate because all my three kids are funny. In fact, we don't need entertainment in our household. My son [Travis J] is a stand up comic too, and I think the rest will follow in our footsteps, how worrying!”
You get the feeling that if the whole family followed in Angie Le Mar’s footsteps she wouldn’t really be worried at all!
To see this multi-talented lady in action ‘In My Shoes’ plays a limited run at Soho Theatre, London 15 October to 5 November 2011.
Get your tickets here – http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/angie-le-mar