Norfolk actor Marie Cooper in The Welkin by Lucy Kirkwood

The Welkin by Lucy Kirkwood

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Marie Cooper’s Captivating Portrayal of Sarah Hollis in “The Welkin”

Marie Cooper performing as Sarah Hollis in Lucy Kirkwood’s The Welkin at Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich, Oct 2022 and July 2023

Sarah Hollis: A Challenging and Rewarding Role

In Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Welkin” at Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich, Marie Cooper delivered a captivating performance as Sarah Hollis, one of the twelve matrons. Originally scheduled for October 2022, the production faced unforeseen challenges with a Covid outbreak, leading to its cancellation after only two nights. But the show must go on, and in July 2023, with determination and talent, Marie and the cast returned to the stage with a remarkable display.

The Character of Sarah Hollis

Playing Sarah Hollis was no easy feat. As a mute character for 20 years, Marie had to convey emotions and communicate without words. Through nuanced facial expressions, body language, and eye contact, she skillfully brought Sarah’s character to life. Even when not at the centre of the action, Marie stayed engaged and attentive, maintaining the essence of Sarah throughout the performance.

Challenges and Triumphs

The action scenes were especially thrilling and demanding. Drawing on her martial arts background, Marie initially struggled to suppress her instinct to react physically during rehearsals. However, with Jo’s unwavering patience and guidance and support from Sabrina’s excellent stage combat experience, Marie successfully adapted and mastered the art of embodying Sarah Hollis authentically.

Behind the Scenes: Directors and Production

Originally directed by Jez Pike, the ensemble cast worked diligently to develop their relationships and portray their characters convincingly. When the show was revived in 2023, Sabrina Poole and John Holden took the reins, building upon the solid foundation laid by the original team. The result was a phenomenal piece of theatre that captivated audiences.

Experience the Magic of “The Welkin”

We are excited to share with you a heartfelt review from one of the show’s attendees, reflecting the profound impact of this extraordinary theatrical experience. Discover the essence of the performance and the collective talent that brought Lucy Kirkwood’s masterpiece to life.

Click below to watch the video review on Facebook:

Watch Audience Review on Facebook

Note: The video contains an audience review that beautifully captures the essence of “The Welkin” as a whole, showcasing the collective brilliance of the cast and crew.

Photographs by Reflective Arts

Sean Owen of Reflective Arts captured mesmerizing snapshots during the dress rehearsal for “The Welkin” in October 2022. The following gallery includes photographs of Marie as Sarah Hollis and a heartwarming shot of the entire cast after the rehearsal.

The Sewell Barn Review Board

Chalk board showing reviews from the audience of The Wekin at Sewell Barn Theatre

Cast of The Welkin

Elizabeth Luke Jo Parker Sessions
Sally Poppy Emma Smith
Mary Middleton Diane Webb
Peg Carter Sabrina Poole
Ann Lavender Holly Harrington-Ball
Kitty Givens Katie Smith
Emma Jenkins Karen Bates
Judith Brewer Alison Utting
Sarah Hollis Marie Cooper
Helen Ludlow Helen Wells
Charlotte Cary Ginny Porteous
Sarah Smith Jan Farrer
Hannah Rusted Eva Wright
Mr Coombes Ray Tempesta
Frederick Poppy Bradley Clarke
Dr Willis David Newham

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