Kettle Mag’s theatre editor Gemma Hirst got the chance to sit down and talk to Coronation Street actress Nikki Patel about her lead role in Future Conditional at The Old Vic and talks about gender and ethnic equality in the arts.
You have quite an experience of on screen acting, how are you finding life on stage as to being on screen with playing Amber in Corrie?
It’s so much fun and so creatively fulfilling. It’s a very intimate experience because we work closely with everyone involved in the production. In terms of acting, there’s a lot to think about such as voice, movement and of course a live audience, so there’s a lot of focus and discipline required.
Can you tell the Kettle readers more about your character and her involvement in the plot?
The plot features a whole host of characters and the impacts of the education system on them. Alia is dedicated, inspired and very bright and her ideas could change the education system as we know it.
Future Conditional is about tackling the British Education System, what was your schooling life like as a child?
I loved school. I had a small group of friends and we had a lot of fun but I also took my studies seriously. I put a lot of effort in, though my results didn’t quite reflect that!
You play the main character of Alia who wants to change the British School System, were you that ever out spoken at school?
No not at all. I was the complete opposite – I hated speaking or even answering questions out loud – as long as there wasn’t any attention on me I was a happy pupil just doing my own thing quietly!
As a supporter of female education, how has this helped to develop your character of Alia in Future Conditional?
My interest in the subject was massively helpful because I had inspiring points of reference. Supporting a cause that my character supports means I can easily access her passions and desires, and I can defend every word that she speaks and every belief that she has.
How important is it that the arts and entertainment industry is ensuring equality on both gender and ethnicity, should the industry be doing more to support it?
It’s crucial that powerful, leading roles are written for both genders and all ethnicities. Its important for culture and for our society – it can’t be underestimated how much people absorb and learn from stories whether it be in books, on stage or on screen and so audiences deserve a wide range of representations without gender or ethnic boundaries.
Patel (Amber Kalirai) with fellow Coronation Street atress Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster)
What advice do you have for any young people that want to make it in the world of TV or Stage?
On a very general level – my advice would be to read, laugh and take good care of your own path.
After performing on stage, can we look forward to more of Nikki Patel on stage or is TV your passion?
That’s a tough question. For me I don’t have a preference of where a story is told – I feel blessed because I love both theatre and TV – but regardless, my passions lie in the story. I will go wherever the story is suited, whether it’s TV, stage, film or radio.
Tickets for Future Conditional are now on sale with perfomances from Tues 1st September – Sat 3rd October 2015