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Diversity School Initiative’s Mumba Dodwell: ‘We need more forum theatre in today’s political climate’

Mumba Dodwell. Photo: Aisha Love Mumba Dodwell. Photo: Aisha Love
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How did you start off in theatre?

I moved to England just before I turned eight and always wanted to be an actor. As soon as we touched down, my mother put me in dance classes and acting summer programmes. That was the beginning of a career that currently includes acting, podcast hosting and, with the other Diversity School core members, planning events that aim to tackle the issues we see with drama training in terms of representation.

Student campaign to ‘name and shame’ schools without diversity

What is your best advice for acting students today?

Have fun and explore. For diverse students, make sure you are investigating and looking out for actors, books and shows that reinforce that you belong in that space. It will help you keep your sanity.

What would you change about drama training in the UK?

Inclusivity in the course curriculum and redefining the classics.

What is the best part of your job?

That getting to play is my actual job.

And your least favourite?

Having to restructure my life in between jobs.

Which practitioners do you most admire/who should students be looking up to?

I love the structure of Greek theatre. But to really answer the question, I think students should look out for Augusto Boal – we need some forum theatre in the current political climate.

What is the one skill that every successful actor should have?

Being able to let things go and not take it personally (I’m working on the last one myself).

What do you wish you had personally known when graduating? 

It’s slow and things take time to fall into place. Some people may go into the industry with a bang, but success is personal to you and you always have time.

Mumba Dodwell, a core team member of the Diversity School Initiative, was talking to John Byrne

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