Pete-Gage-Band1
Gordon-and-Sam
White-Horse
Ogbourne
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Animals06
Brazier
EARLY-MORNING-CANTER-473-
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
YELLOWHAMMER-473-
Musical-Time-Machine5
IMG8472
D4S9273
SBJ
FROSTY-MORNING-
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Mop-Fair---10-10-09------08
TdB-Pewsey044
Hares017cropped
Scouting-for-Girls7
Remebrance-18-2
Brooks-Williams1
Camilla-MSM
Inbox2
D4S0472
MBORO-HOCKEY-YOUTH-473
BABRURY-XC-JUMP-473
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Remebrance-18-1
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09------30
4MI-2013-11-28030
Torch-2012-05-23093-
JazzFestSat572
Inbox-1
Turin-Brakes6
D812668
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Remebrance-18-3
Civic-Service-18
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
Sunset2
Duke-of-Kent086
IMG9097
MYFC005
Big-Bull
Snowy-High-Street
George-Wilding-301
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Sunset
Tina-May5
Landscape
Roving-Crows1

 

Share a million stories – actress Ruth Wilson launches Book Week at St John’s Academy

Ruth Wilson with Year 7 students at St John's AcademyRuth Wilson with Year 7 students at St John's AcademyAward winning actress, Ruth Wilson, visited St John’s Academy today, March 3, to speak to students and to launch the many activities planned for World Book Week which has as its theme – ‘Let’s share a million stories.’

 

Most recently on our screens as the manipulative, sinister, glamorous Mrs Coulter in the BBC’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’, Ruth spoke about her life as an actress, the importance of storytelling and the power of the imagination.

“I think that telling stories is one of the oldest traditions.  It’s the way we reflect humanity, educate and entertain. It’s vital that kids involve themselves in either reading or performance and that as we get older we keep feeding the imagination which can be minimized by life.

Matt Wilson, St John's English teacher with his sister Ruth WilsonMatt Wilson, St John's English teacher with his sister Ruth WilsonStories teach kids about empathy and what it is to be human.  Book week is great as it’s a chance to indulge the imagination.”

The students were fascinated to hear about her role as Mrs Coulter and the interaction with her daemon.  In Pullman’s world every human is born with a daemon – a physical manifestation of a person’s inner self that takes the form of an animal. Mrs Coulter’s daemon is a monkey and CGI was used in the series to portray the creature.

Ruth explained the difficulty as an actor in interacting with a creature that wasn’t physically there.  “It’s a weird process, acting to nothing.”

She also spoke about the character of Mrs Coulter, who she believes is very complex.  “I was trying to find the human side of her – understanding why she acts as she does.  She supresses part of herself, keeps it locked down but every time she gets angry a bit of the monkey comes out of her.  I watched what monkeys do when they get cross and they use their arms a lot – so that’s what I did.”

She has often been asked what her own animal daemon would be should they exist. “Maybe an urban fox – I’ve seen one in London – independent and cunning!”

Ruth enjoys playing ‘baddies’. Alice Morgan in ‘Luther’ is another character who falls into this category. “I enjoy exploring the yin and yang of what could be good about them. However, her favourite roles have been on the stage.

As well as ‘His dark Materials’, she has starred in many adaptations of novels such as ‘Small Island’ and ‘Jane Eyre’. “I like adaptations because you have the novel as a blueprint and have lots of character details you can use.”

One of her most unusual roles was playing her own grandmother in the BBC drama, ‘Mrs Wilson.’ “My grandmother died ten years ago and I only ever knew her from the age of 55. In the drama I play her aged 20 and 50. It was crazy but special.”

Ruth is always very critical of her performances and avoids watching herself on screen.

“I’m scared that what I do won’t be convincing all the time but it’s an amazing feeling to go into the unknown and be creative.”

The second series of ‘His Dark Materials’ with Ruth as Mrs Coulter will be on BBC towards the end of the year. 

Matt Wilson, Ruth’s brother, is an English teacher at St John’s.

 

 

Print

Remebrance-18-3
4MI-2013-11-28030
White-Horse
D4S0472
Landscape
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Musical-Time-Machine5
TdB-Pewsey044
Scouting-for-Girls7
Gordon-and-Sam
CivicSelfie1
Torch-2012-05-23093-
Duke-of-Kent086
Civic-Service-18
Brooks-Williams1
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
MYFC005
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
IMG9097
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
Sunset
SBJ
Brazier
Ogbourne
Camilla-MSM
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
Big-Bull
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Turin-Brakes6
Animals06
Remebrance-18-1
George-Wilding-301
Roving-Crows1
D4S9273
JazzFestSat572
Remebrance-18-2
IMG8472
D812668
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Hares017cropped
Camilla-2012-10-19152
Pete-Gage-Band1
Snowy-High-Street
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
Tina-May5
Sunset2