Lyric life

10 Questions with…Tanya Moodie

A hijacked plane is heading towards a packed football stadium. Ignoring orders to the contrary Lars Koch, a fighter pilot, shoots down the plane killing 164 people on board.

Charged with murder, the fate of the pilot is now in your hands. The verdict of the trial is decided each night by the audience.

Enter the courtroom. Hear the evidence. Make your judgement.

Guilty. Not Guilty. You Decide.

What’s your name and what role do you play?

My name is Tanya and I play the judge.

What first struck you after first reading this play?

What first struck me was that the arguments for both acquittal and conviction were equally compelling. It also struck me that it did little to assuage my fear of flying.

Does your character support the view you hold personally in the trial?

My character has to support whatever verdict is given that performance. During rehearsal I interviewed people of both views who had heard or read the play so I could fully inhabit their perspective either way.

Does that make it easier or harder to play the role?

To be honest it’s easy to support either view because both reasonings are extremely compelling.

Have you changed your mind whether he is guilty or not guilty throughout the rehearsal process?

I haven’t actually made up my mind. I think it’s important to not harbour a bias considering my role.

What’s your favourite courtroom drama/documentary? 

I watched The People vs. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story before rehearsals. The American court system differs from the German but I actually found watching Judge Ito fascinating.

What the trial shares with ours is the ‘trial of the century’ element of an extraordinary event and the pressure to reach a verdict in a highly emotive situation.

What do you think it is about courtroom dramas that interest people?

I think art in general interests people because we have an internal process of questioning ‘What if that were me/my creation/my story/my life?’

As long as art exists to show a mirror to our own existence through the experiences of others, there is hope for a peaceful society through the potential empathy it cultivates.

If you could be on the jury in any historical case, what case would you have liked to have been on?

I wouldn’t like to be on a jury but I wouldn’t mind being a human rights lawyer. 

Why should an audience come to see Terror

An audience should come and see this play to have the opportunity to hear a scintillating debate around the principles of human dignity and the legislations around it, and to experience live action voting for the outcome they want.

And finally, what do you love most about performing? 

I love communicating with other human beings through storytelling. I love connection with the lives of others. I’m living my dream.

Thanks Tanya. We hope you get some interesting verdicts to read out. Break a leg in Terror!