John-Paul Stephenson

Interview: Adele Silva

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Adele Silva appears in 51 Shades of Maggie, a parody of EL James’ infamous sadomasochistic novel, which begins its UK tour in September at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal. The actress, who played Kelly Windsor in ITV soap Emmerdale, took time out of rehearsals to talk to John-Paul Stephenson about playing Maggie.

JPS: I notice the play is called 51 Shades of Maggie. Was the extra digit a legal thing?

AS: Yes it was! They received the nicest lawyer’s letter they’ve ever received from EL James’ solicitors saying that they could not use “50 Shades”. So instead they used “51 Shades”! It’s quite funny that she was involved.

JPS:  Why did you want to play Maggie? She sounds quite bitter about men…

AS: I’ve been watching Charlotte from Geordie Shore on Celebrity Big Brother recently, and I thought she’s like Maggie. She’s really likeable, honest and ‘out there’.  

Maggie just uses men, do you know what I mean? She’s desperate to find Mr Right, so she goes through different men, and then she meets a guy who sounds amazing, but ‘will he turn out to be the Mr Right?’ So it’s [the play] her funny stories about what she gets up to with men.

There’s quite a nice twist at the end of it, which I won’t spoil, where you think ‘is somebody all they are cracked out to be?’ She wonders ‘is this person the right one or not?’

JPS: It’s a one-woman show. That must be pretty intimidating!

AS: It’s something I’ve never done before, but I’m really looking forward to it. To be honest the biggest draw was the fact it’s a one-woman show. I thought “Oh brilliant” and then when I got it, I thought “Oh my God; I’ve got to go through with it.”

It’s a massive challenge as an actress, but on the other hand it’s all comedy. It’s just joke after joke after joke. It’s nice to do something that’s completely different.

JPS: Some of the posters for the show are quite provocative. I’m a little nervous of asking this question because it sounds a bit pervy, but is it that sort of ‘state of dress’?

AS: No, not really. Everything is done in the most comical way, even though it seems a sexy, explicit subject, it’s done in the funniest manner.  It’s quite funny because I think a lot of people are disappointed. I play all the characters in it; it’s just me, just one person.

The language is quite bad and shocking, but you forget that because you’re laughing at her description of what happened. If you read that with a straight face, you’d think ‘Oh my God, the language!’

JPS: Without wanting to spoil it, do we get to see much of the ‘private room of pain?’

AS: We have a massive bed with a bright pink Paris Hilton duvet and pillows; that’s our centre point. It’s very much described and she’s in the ‘private room of pain’ quite a few times. But please don’t have this image of this sexy and sultry thing; Maggie is very funny, and very awkward things go wrong and they do go wrong in a comical way.

If people – either male or female – want a fun night out, it’s a laugh a minute.

51 Shades of Maggie runs at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle 10 Sep – 14 Sep 2013.