While Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill have more theatre experience than their TARDIS travelling company Karen Gillan, that hasn’t stopped the pair from sharing their enthusiasm with Gillan as she takes to the stage in a revival of John Osborne’s deliciously angry 1964 play Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar Warehouse.
Speaking to The Telegraph Gillan admitted she’s both terrified and excited by the prospect of treading the boards:
“I’m completely terrified. But that’s what makes it exciting. When Matt and Arthur heard I had a part at the Donmar they were so pleased. They were, like, you’ve got to grab this with both hands. So that’s what I’m going to do.”
While the jury may still be out on whether or not ‘the Doctor Who effect’ was the sole reason for the play selling out faster than its last production starring Jude Law there can be no doubting Gillan’s spirit:
“I think the writing’s really amazing. It’s so full of hate. It sounds like John Osborne ranting. It goes to a place that I haven’t encountered before. It’s all jagged, sometimes it doesn’t even fit together logically. You really have to investigate it to understand it.”
Despite her high-profile casting the play is dominated by Bill Maitland, played by Douglas Hodge, an embittered middle-aged man having a nervous breakdown. Gillan plays Bill’s secretary Shirley, who ‘in one massive showdown scene’ in the middle of the play announces she’s pregnant, resigns and abandons Bill never to return.
“She exits in flames of glory. She’s described as this ‘half-baked cheap show girl’ in the play – so she’s this young girl pretending to be something sassier than she is, while announcing that she’s pregnant and losing the man she loves.”
Away from the world of spiteful love Gillan’s love of the sixties doesn’t stop with its playwrights:
“My favourite band are The Who – not that I’ve ever seen them live. I’ve only seen Roger Daltrey at the unveiling of a plaque to Keith Moon in Soho; Pete Townshend didn’t even turn up.”
Before she can get back to chasing up the unpunctual Townshend there’s the small matter of returning to the Whonivere – although the paper have listed her as appearing in the Christmas Special – something which was ruled out by Steven Moffat in the pages of Doctor Who: The Brilliant Book.
Perhaps another Moffat lie, a slip of the tongue by Gillan or the papers mistake…
Inadmissible Evidence runs at the Donmar Warehouse, London until 26th November. For information on both availability and booking click here.