In Conversation With... Charlotte Cooper | The Night Pirates | Interview

Monday 30 October 2017

Charlotte Cooper has had an extensive career and is currently starring in the swashbuckling family production, The Night Pirates. Charlotte sat down with Rewrite This Story to tell us about her career and why this production is perfect to take your little ones too!

For anyone that doesn’t know, can you explain a little about your career and highlights so far?
I have worked extensively in children's theatre. I have been lucky enough to tour all over the world including Singapore, Malaysia and America as well as all over the UK and a stint in the West End. 

Have you always aspired to be a performer of did you have a different career path in mind when you were younger?
I discovered performing when I was 10 and knew instantly that I wanted to do it as my career. Prior to that I had wanted to be a farmer! I am still a big tractor fan and listen to The Archers daily.

What drew you to The Night Pirates?
The Night Pirates is a great book and gender equality in the form of female pirates is what the world needs! The team behind it are brilliant, Miranda and Barrie work beautifully together and Rose Theatre Kingston produce such excellent stuff. As soon as I heard it was being done I was itching to be seen for it. I am really pleased and proud to be a part of it 

Did you have a favourite bedtime story growing up? 
I was a big fan of Each Peach Pear Plum and the Jane Hissey Old Bear stories. I still have a soft spot for those.

What would your pirate name be?
What WOULD it be?! I am already blessed with one! ChARRRlotte or Captain Cooper. Captain ChARRRlotte Cooper to give me my full name.

Can you sum up the show in five words?
Swashbuckling action-packed piratey fun!

How do you adapt to performing in front of groups of mainly children compared to mainly adults?
An audience of mainly children is not a forgiving one! With shows for younger audiences, you know immediately by their reaction if something has or hasn't worked. They become restless if not fully entertained and need to be given plenty of opportunities to interact. It is a high energy medium and you have to be thinking constantly. 

Younger audiences notice everything, it’s impossible to trick them or divert them, if something funny happens on stage they will have noticed and you can't gloss over the moment in the way you could with an adult audience. (I was once in a show where another character and I collided and he fell over. It was incredibly funny as he fell to the floor and into a spotlight centre stage, the whole audience saw it so I had to acknowledge it had happened which gave them permission to laugh and helped to explain my obvious guffaws!)

What’s a fun fact people may not know about you?
I have a keen interest in dinosaurs and am currently studying a paleobiology course. I find it fascinating!

What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Find your niche. The acting industry is vast and there are many different genres and mediums, the thing you may be best suited to you might not know about yet. Be open and receptive to trying new stuff and find what you enjoy.

A huge thank you to Charlotte for taking the time to do this interview. The Night Pirates is touring until November 19th, more information can be found here.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor