Natalie Simpson on playing Ophelia

On Sunday 20 November Natalie Simpson, a Wycombe Abbey alumna and currently a professional actress with the RSC, returned to school for a Question and Answer session with Miss Livesey (who taught her) in Fisher Library. She spoke on the three parts she is currently playing i.e. Ophelia in Hamlet, Cordelia in King Lear, and Guiderius in Cymbeline.

It was hugely interesting to hear how she had developed each of these characters, whether she took inspiration from other performances she had seen, or drew from her own experiences. It was incredibly inspiring to hear the story of how she had come to be an actor in the first place and how she has overcome the difficulties she has faced along the way. She was creative, individual and more than happy to answer any questions we had. I particularly enjoyed it when she explained the similarities and differences between the roles and how she had tried to make each one unique. She touched on the strengths and weaknesses of all three and left us all inspired by her recognition for the need for rigorous analysis of the text and then the need to breathe new life into these complex Shakespearean characters whom (apart from Guiderius!) we all know so well.

Ally, LVI