Make More Noise | Meet Monika

18 Jul 2018

It's only two weeks until Make More Noise opens on our stage and to mark the occasion we met up with Adult Company member Monika Aakvaag to get an insight into her role in this all-female production. 

Tell us about yourself

My name is Monika, I'm 41 years old and I live in Bristol. I'm originally from Norway but I have been living in England for a while now. I have an 18 year old daughter. I love acting, films, theatre, travelling, writing and reading. 

What is Make More Noise about? 

It's about taking your power back. It's about exploring what is means to be a woman today and what it meant to be a woman in the past. It's about all the women through history who dared to ask why women should be treated any differently than men. About why women shouldn't be seen as equal to men. 

It's about seeing and acknowledging all the hard work done by courageous women in the past, the suffragettes in particular. Without their tireless fight for justice we as women would not be able to enjoy many freedoms that we take for granted today. The show also explores what these freedoms are, and also where we aren't yet as free as we would like. It's a celebration and it also poses some difficult questions about equality today. 

What research did you do whilst preparing for the role? 

I read a biography about Mary Wollstonecraft that made a big impression on me, and I read a book about the Suffragette movement. I also watched programs about feminism on YouTube and on TV, and I did research about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I also read about the Bronte Sisters, and I watched a talk by Emma Watson that she gave at the UN and I did quite a lot of writing and thinking about my own past and about the important women in my life. 

If you could pick one iconic woman from history, who would it be and why? 

I think Mary Wollstonecraft was pretty awesome. She was so full of confidence and strength and sense of purpose. She was basically self taught and a brilliant writer. Her family background was difficult and she went through some economically tough times, but she always fought back finding work for herself and staying financially independent. She was adventurous – she traveled to France during the revolution to write a book about what was going on there. She had a child outside marriage. She was a free soul, who wasn't afraid of living life to the full. She didn't have an easy life, but at least she wasn't afraid of living it to the full. I don't think she ever thought that she couldn't do things because she was a woman. And, of course, she wrote a really groundbreaking book about women's right to education. Why should women be any different to men except for the obvious differences, why shouldn't women be seen as equal to men? That were some of her questions. 

What part of the production are you most excited about? 

I'm very excited about all the pieces featuring the whole ensemble where we work with moving images. I think we work very well together and that we all have a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for the play. I'm very excited about the expressiveness and physicality in many of the scenes. 

What do you want the audience to take away when they leave? 

I would like the audience to take away a lot of enthusiasm for theatre and for people who dare to live their lives to the full regardless of what society imposes on them. I would like the audience to feel inspired and to have a renewed respect for the fight for equality in the world. 

Make More Noise comes to Bristol Old Vic from 2 – 4 Aug. Book your tickets here