/Q & A: Luke Harding – Writer and Actor

Q & A: Luke Harding – Writer and Actor

Bully is an intimate and raw look at the sensitive subject of adult-bullying. Its writer, also cast in the show, Luke Harding sheds light on the inspiration behind Bully and why more awareness on the issue needs to be raised as it begins its first performances from 18 to 23 September at Etcetera Theatre.

1. When did you realise acting was your calling?

I have always naturally been a performer, yet it wasn’t until I started to perform in uni musicals, plays and films that I really found the courage and self belief to turn a dream into reality.

2. What was the inspiration behind ‘Bully’?

I wrote Bully based on both my own experiences with bullying in the workplace and the frequent subject of it that also came up with friends and family.

3. The show looks at the mind set of adult bullying. Do you feel that there isn’t enough literature and information out there about this important issue? 

I do believe there isn’t much exploring adult bullying specifically. We tend to think, “come on, you’re an adult, grow up and stick up for yourself”. But as you will see in Bully it is never quite as simple as that.

4. The performance looks at the physical and mental nature of adult bullying. Why do you think awareness of such a sensitive topic should be raised?

Often being bullied is seen as being weak and isn’t something we want to talk about. However, it can have long term damaging effect on confidence and wellbeing. I hope I can encourage others to share there personal stories of bullying.

5. Have you performed at Etcetera theatre before? 

This will be my first play at Etcetera Theatre

6. How has the  Etcetera theatre’ space helped in bringing the production to life?

Etcetera is perfect for this production. The intimate space is what an intimate subject needs.

7. Do you feel the play can relate to other areas outside of 1-2-1 interactions, such as cyber bullying?

Although I don’t look at cyber bullying, I do believe it is still a demonstration of the same effect cyber bullying has on a person and how it can change them negatively.

8. How do you want the audience to feel when they see Bully?

I want the audience to feel empathy. Many will have experiences with bullying and will automatically know how it feels. Others will not and this is perhaps more important because it will bring them awareness of just how hard it can be when you are bullied in adult life. It may even stop a few bullys doing what they do.

9. You will be performing with four other cast members. What has the dynamic been like in rehearsals? Is there much knowledge sharing about adult bullying?

The cast are amazing. We are truthful in our own experiences and bring that into performance. I was shocked to learn each of them had been bullied themselves. So it’s a subject close to all our hearts.

10. As a theatre performer, what would you say is the most gratifying part of what you do?
As a theatre performer the most gratifying element is being able to explore emotion. It is often hard to explain and understand our emotions, yet I believe it is emotion that makes being alive worthwhile. By exploring and expressing my own emotions openly, the audience can tap into their own and feel it for themselves. That is human connectivity and empathy, and it is a very special thing in my eyes.
Bully is showing from 18 to 23 September at Etcetera Theatre (Camden). Click here to purchase tickets.