Tuesday, 6 January 2015

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Actress Maylynne Lowe talks Divorce Papers, embracing change, and artistic growth

PLAYING THE PART: "I'm constantly creating and trying out different things," shares Lowe, pictured on stage with Samuels (below).

They say film is a director's medium while theatre is an actor's medium. Maylynne Lowe wholeheartedly agrees. "I'm a theatre actress. I really don't enjoy film," says the award-winning star, who has earned renown ad critical huzzahs for her work both on screen and on stage, perhaps most famously as Tanya Blackburn on TV's Royal Palm Estate (and its soapy spin-off The Blackburns) and as Annie Palmer in 2010's blockbuster musical drama White Witch, for which she snagged both Thespy and Actor Boy trophies. "When you're live on stage and giving your all and you feel your audience responding and you're getting that energy from them, it's the best feeling in the world." 

These days, the actress, who would be a natural on the Hollywood scene, is getting more of that adrenaline high as Stacey in Basil Dawkins' strongly acted four-hander of a marital drama Divorce Papers, in which she chiefly swap lines with Oliver Samuels, an idol she's always wanted to work with. "It's really nice being in this cast. I mean working with Oliver has just been amazing," she gushes, as we catch up over the phone. "Prior to this I worked with Shebada, and now I'm getting to work with Oliver, and these are the greats in comedy right now. It's really exciting to be a part of this experience." 

Divorce Papers spins the intensely engrossing story of an aging couple (played by Samuels and Ruth HoShing/Barbara McCalla) who are constantly at loggerheads, to say the least. Lowe's Stacey, a bespectacled attorney's assistant, is a lonely soul who befriends Samuels' Augustus, showering him with attention and affection in his hour of need. 

Though the challenge of taking on yet another complex part and making it entirely her own was no cakewalk, Lowe admits that working with thespians possessed of the calibre and self-discipline of McCalla and Samuels make her rise to the occasion every night and want to be a better actor. 
"Doing a production like this isn't work for me; it's pure pleasure," concedes the actress who, at thirty-something, considers herself the baby of a cast that is completed by Dennis Titus and constantly seeks out roles that will allow her to show some range and reveal new dimensions to her talent. "Doing this kind of work is difficult, but I'm very consumed by what I do as an artist. I'm constantly creating and trying out different things. I don't want to be portrayed the same way every time." 

When it comes to her own history as a divorcĂ©e, it's not her favourite interview subject. But Maylynne Lowe makes no secret of the fact that she was twice married and twice divorced. While the former union lasted for six months, the latter ran its course after five years. In retrospect, the actress has no regrets about those chapters of her past. "I was young," the former Mrs. Walton explains. "Looking back there is no pain; I have no regrets. Who feels it knows it." 

By her own admission, she's a grown woman who has come into her independence, firmly rooted in experience and wisdom, and ready to face whatever the future has in store. And that includes taking Divorce Papers overseas with the cast and crew for engagements in England and a confirmed Mother's Day performance in the US. "This is a very good time for me first of all, working with [these actors] and being so junior in the cast. I'm the least experienced person in the cast, and it's a tremendous learning experience. Change is good." 

> REVIEW: Well-acted Divorce Papers examines aging and a marriage on the rocks

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