Being naïve Philip Ashley

Samuel Reid plays Philip Ashley in My Cousin Rachel

Hi! I’m Sam and I’m playing the part of Philip in My Cousin Rachel, the first play of the new season here at Millgate. It’s my fifth play here with Saddleworth Players, the most recent of which was Incorruptible in June. I’m so excited to be treading the boards for the first play in front of the new seats in the auditorium!

One of the great aspects of this play is the “did she, didn’t she” question, which is true to the original Du Maurier novel. We in the cast have spent most of the rehearsal period speculating and arguing about it – I’m personally of the opinion that Du Maurier has deliberately made most of the evidence against Rachel circumstantial, rather than conclusively direct evidence. I suppose we must presume innocence until proven guilty!

Philip, on the other hand, is a much more transparent character. Philip’s motives and behaviour are quite easy to interpret but I’ve really enjoyed finding subtext and hidden meanings in the script with this particular play. I think he means well but he’s far too unworldly and naïve to be a match for Rachel. And yet again, I’m playing a young man seduced by an older woman! Maybe I’m becoming typecast . . .

I hope you enjoy the play as much as I’ve enjoyed being Philip. I think it’s a wonderful adaptation!

‘My Cousin Rachel’ will be performed by the Saddleworth Players at the Millgate Arts Centre from 28 September to 5 October. Tickets are available online from our booking site or from the box office at Delph Library (Tuesdays 2pm–5pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 2pm–7pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30am–1pm). The box office telephone number is 01457 874644.

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