Tori Allen-Martin has a number of TV credits to her name, appearing in shows such as Unforgotten and London Kills, but now she is returning to the stage with her new play, Who I could’ve been – an exploration of love, loss and changes made.
Tori describes the show as “a non-linear look at love and loss and it’s essentially about the things we should say and maybe don’t.” Describing the non-linear structure as perfect for the piece as it meant she could highlight the individual moments that are important in each relationship, “We fall in love in moments and we heal in moments and we break in moments, and I wanted to explore those moments. It’s a combination of moments that make you who you are, for better or for worse.”
Love is central to the play, Tori explained that she thinks love is a universal feeling continuing to say that, “I like to write stuff that can speak to anyone. Love is something we all experience, so i hope it can speak to everybody.” Whilst the show aims to be relatable to everyone’s experiences Tori said that “a lot of bad relationships” and a focus on hindsight inspired her to write the play. Explaining that, “there were a lot of times where I had tried to be a version of myself, tried to be a different person, or tried to be the cool girl that didn’t care or tried to wear my heart on my sleeves, and I wonder what would have happened if I had been honest with myself first and foremost.”
She laughed that writing shows as personal as Who I could have been can lead to rather emotional rehearsals, “hearing something very truthful read back to you can almost be like assault – it’s like ‘I didn’t really think about this, I’ve got to go there!’”
For Tori being able to write plays like these is a great way to release emotions, but says she loves it just as much acting, “I think the beauty of writing is that you can just bleed into notepad, but I think if you find a brilliant piece, you can do exactly the same thing and somebody else’s words allow you to feel things in a way you maybe didn’t think you of before, or didn’t think you could.” Continuing to explain, “I’m somebody who believes in creating work for yourself and your friends and getting stuff out there.”
Tori hopes that the live element of the theatre will help audience connect even further to the emotions in the piece, but says personally she loves TV acting just as much. “The thing I love about theatre is that it’s live, and you share something with the audience and the audience share something with you that will never be recreated ever again, it’s only ever going to be how it is in that exact moment so the live element and the fear that comes with that, and the truth that comes from that is really exciting. And then television is really exciting because you can just, feel it and go with it and the cameras the pick that up so they’re both really emotive and truthful in completely different ways….They both result in the same sort of excitement but in completely different ways and that’s why I think I love them both equally.”
Who I could have been is on at The Space June 4th-8th, and audiences can “expect something raw, funny, heartbreaking, poignant, devastating and life-affirming.”
Interview by Jennifer Thompson