Free Spirit

Glory Ngim has come full-circle. She was a member of young & W!LD, our youth training division. Now, she’s starring in The House Of Bernarda Alba as the free-spirited Adela. She tells us about working with Glen Goei and her veteran co-stars.

Tell us about your character, Adela.

Adela is the youngest in The House Of Bernarda Alba. At 20, she’s a young nubile woman having her first taste of (romantic) love. She’s very different from the rest of her sisters because she’s a free spirit and the most empathetic and sensitive of the lot. She’s also the only one who really, truly believes that she can have freedom from this house – freedom to live the life that she wants.

What have you uncovered about this character from reading the script through to rehearsals?

Adela isn’t all she appears to be. I felt her instinctively when I first read the play, and with careful scouring through the script and numerous discussions have unearthed her many different facets: she’s cheeky, aggressive, fragile, idealistic, shrewd, romantic… it has been an experience living the role of Adela, to say the least!

It sounds like a very intense experience for you as an actor.

Yeah, it’s very intense! [laughs] It’s a very intense show overall. It’s emotionally and physically demanding, and it’s a very challenging role. I relish the opportunity to do complex and challenging roles, because you really get to sink your teeth into them. Adela experiences a roller-coaster of emotions in the play. I’ve had to work backwards and piece together information from across the script to figure out where some of these emotions come from.

Were you aware of this play before you were cast in this production?

I’d heard about The House Of Bernarda Alba in 2010, when I was on exchange in the University of Miami. I was interning with a regional theatre company, and the show I was working on at the time was written by a Cuban-American playwright. He mentioned The House Of Bernarda Alba in passing, one day in the office. When I came back to Singapore, I tried to get my hands on the text, but I couldn’t find it. I knew it was something I wanted to read, though.

The first time I read the script was when I was asked to audition for the role of Adela. I read it and I was just… [gasps dramatically] It’s beautiful, and it’s heartbreaking.

What’s it been like working with Glen Goei and this cast?

This is my first time working with Glen – I really like working with him! He’s very patient and takes time to talk through scenes/ the character with me. I tend to have more questions than answers and, as the youngest in the cast, there are a lot of things about the craft that I’ve yet to learn. Everyone else is at least twenty years older than me (except Sharda), so I’ve definitely gained richly from watching and experiencing how each of my co-stars works.

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