Mary Stuart star Derval Mellet in Doha

We pick the brain of the actress in The Faction Theatre production

Mary Stuart star Derval Mellet in Doha

What’s it like playing this role?
Wonderful, I love it. We first performed Mary Stuart as part of a Rep Season earlier this year. That means performing three plays over six weeks, alternating performances. I remember coming off stage back in January after Act 1 and saying to Mark (Leipacher, director of Mary Stuart) that I want to play this role forever, even if means bringing on a zimmer frame. Thankfully I've had the opportunity to play the part again culminating in our trip to Qatar, and beyond as there are plans for it to be back in 2013.

How did you prepare for it?
The Faction work as an ensemble, which means that the whole rehearsal process is quite organic as opposed to being told by a director where to stand and how to say a line. This means that all the actors feel they have been instrumental in development of their character.

View Mary Stuart in Doha

Do you relate to her character at all?
Absolutely, I think every actor needs to be able to relate to the character they are playing, whether it's empathy or an emotional connection. But if you can relate to them on a religious or political level than that's a bonus.

What’s hard about this role?
The only hard thing about this role is having to say goodbye to it and to the wonderful cast, crew and creatives that I've had the pleasure of working with on this wonderful production. Though thankfully a number of us will be back together for The Faction's next Rep Season, in which we will be performing Three Sisters, Blood Wedding, and another Schiller play - Fiesco - at The New Diorama Theatre in London.

Do you like Mary Stuart? Would you guys hang out and be BFFs or do you secretly hate her?
From the Schiller text that has been adapted by Mark Leipacher and Daniel Millar, I really like the character of Mary Stuart. How close she was to the real life Mary is a matter of reading between the lines. But what is true of the real life and the created is the strong sense of passion and belief that he had. I'd love to have a coffee with her, though I reckon she'd be more into having a bottle of vino! Our audiences have been quite divided whether they are "Team Mary" or "Team Liz." Obviously I'm Team Mary all the way.

Mary Stuart takes the stage at the Katara Drama Theatre Nov 8-10, 8pm-10pm. Tickets are QR80-QR155. For tickets and more information see

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