Artist of The Month- March- Chloe Grimmett

Stylus Productions return to the stage after a year hiatus with Educating Rita. Playing the peppery and funny Rita is writer Chloe Grimmett. Originally from the U.K. but raised in South Africa, this is her first production in Hong Kong- and she is surely looking forward to it!




1.Name, birthplace, age:

Chloe Ann Grimmett, Bath, UK, 31


2. How does where you were raised affect your work?

I was born in the UK, but we immigrated to Lesotho – a small mountain kingdom in the centre of South Africa – before my first birthday. I spent the first decade of my life running through wild fields and up mountainsides barefoot, brought up in a multicultural community, educated in a very liberal international school. My childhood was full of beautiful landscapes, interesting characters, and adventure, and this continues to fuel my imagination and feed into my writing process. Growing up overseas and moving around a lot, of course, makes you question your identity... Where am I from? What is my culture? Who am I? And these nomadic questions certainly continue to inform and shape my writing.


3. Where did you train?

I am not a formally trained actor, but a writer. I completed both of my writing degrees in London: specialising in theatrical writing at Kingston University, and then going onto study Literary Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Acting has always played a huge role in my life; I performed with a youth repertory company until I was 20, and some smaller avant-garde dramatic societies in London throughout my 20s.


4. What is your favourite style of theatre? Why?

I am really drawn towards Theatre of the Absurd, tragedies, and tragi-comedic performances. My biggest influences have been Samuel Beckett, Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. If a performance can make me laugh and cry simultaneously and stays in my thoughts long after the curtains have fallen, then I’m hooked. I think this is why I am so drawn to my character in “Educating Rita” – she is beautifully funny and astute at the same time as being hopelessly lost.


5. What was the best show you EVER saw?

One of the best pieces I ever saw was “Anatomy of a Suicide” by Alice Birch – a very powerful play about three generations of women afflicted with hereditary suicidal tendencies. It was captivating, with intensely painful and funny moments sewn together in a multi-generational patchwork performance – very moving, I still think of it years later. Another of my favourites would have to be “People, Places and Things” by Duncan Macmillan – written by one of my favourite theatre writers, it is a darkly comedic play about addiction, mental health disorders and broken down family relationships. I cried like a baby! 


6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw?

 It has to be “The Intervention” by Davina Lee Carrete from Treasure Chest Theatre. An emotional and raw devised piece about substance abuse, mental health and how difficult it is to give and receive help when you or someone you love really needs it. 


7. What piece of work are you the proudest?

In terms of acting; hard to say really, as “Educating Rita” marks my return to the stage after a break of nearly eight years! Of course, there were roles when I was a young adult, but that was so long ago now…In terms of writing; my latest work “D E C A Y” is the piece I’m most proud. I’m proud of it because it took many years to complete. It was difficult to write as it deals with many feelings and experiences I overcame in my twenties, and some I’m still working on now. It covers topics such as grief, identity, mental health, motherhood, and lost love. It sounds bleak, and I suppose parts of it are, but I have tried to write from a tragi-comedic perspective which reflects my writing influences, and my own approach to the hardships the characters face – that we should laugh wherever we can.


8. What is your process like?

Theatrically-speaking, I don’t have a strict process – apart from trying to identify with the character I’m playing. This has been relatively easy with Rita, as I am of a similar age and find myself in a comparative existential situation – asking myself questions on a daily basis about what my life is/should be, and what my goals are for the coming years – to produce, to learn, to procreate, to find love, to find myself.


9. What is your dream project?

There are so many! I would love to be involved in a restaging of a Eugene O’Neill or Tennessee Williams play (I played Blanche when I was 18, a very fond memory). Sadly I never made it to a “Mothers Matter” monologue evening, but I love the concept and would be keen to restart something in the same vein in Hong Kong as I feel it is a great arena for new voices and stories. And one day, possibly soon, I would be over the moon to see “D E C A Y” performed…



10. What do you think about the arts and theatre scene in Hong Kong? 

I’ve only been in Hong Kong for a little over a year now, but I am struck by the enthusiasm and “YES!” attitude of all I have met in the theatrical world so far – I think that Hong Kong is an exciting place to be right now. There are many theatrical reading groups going on, open mic and free verse nights happening, and countless opportunities to get involved in smaller fringe-style productions – it’s just a matter of showing willingness and commitment. In my experience so far, the HK theatre scene feels a lot more accessible than somewhere like London where competition is fierce and bureaucratic. I’m thrilled to find myself in a theatre scene that is welcoming and accessible, as well as inspiring and diverse.


Catch Chloe in action in her upcoming show Educating Rita. More info here. 


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