‘Luther’ Actor Ruth Wilson to Star in Fremantle’s Performance Piece Documentary ‘The Second Woman’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Undeniable, Fremantle’s premium documentaries label, has revealed feature documentary “The Second Woman” (working title), which captures Golden Globe and Olivier-winning actor Ruth Wilson (“Luther,” “His Dark Materials”) in a one-off performance piece at the Young Vic Theatre in London.

“The Second Woman” is a play created and directed by Anna Breckon and Nat Randall. It is co-produced by the Young Vic Theatre and LIFT – London’s international festival of theatre). Wilson is also involved as a presenter in association with House of Oz.

“The Second Woman” sees Wilson performing a single break up scene over and over playing opposite 100 different men, non-binary and queer people across a full 24 hours. Inspired by John Cassavetes’ 1977 film “Opening Night,” the scene involves a couple negotiating a long-term relationship that has lost its romance and vitality. With only brief breaks throughout the performance, Wilson plays the role of Virginia in every single scene, opposite a series of mostly non-actors, who she has never met before, She has no way of knowing in advance who her co-stars are, nor can she anticipate how they might choose to play the scene.

The documentary will chart Wilson’s performance as a journey of self-exploration, drawing on her collective experiences of life and work. The element of surprise is exacerbated by the fact that, as they come and go from the space, her 100 co-stars will encounter nothing but women and non-binary people. The production has an entirely female and non-binary crew – both on the documentary and backstage at the theater.

Ursula Macfarlane (“Untouchable,” “Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me”) is directing the documentary, which is produced and executive produced by Mandy Chang and Linda Brusasco of Fremantle Documentaries, along with Wilson.

Wilson said: “Theater to me is always a magical space of shared belief and imagination. As an artist I’m always curious about putting myself in scenarios where I don’t know how I’m going to get through it. Which is exactly why this endurance performance is so exciting. It’s an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and to have such a talented, all-female and non-binary crew on hand to capture every moment should make for a fascinating watch.”

Macfarlane added: “With this unique and magical theatrical experience at the heart of our film, balancing on the blurred edges between real life and performance, we’ll explore gender power dynamics, human relationships, artifice and authenticity and the very nature of acting. This is a leap into the unknown for all of us, and a storytelling challenge like this is the greatest gift for a filmmaker.”

Chang, global head of documentaries at Fremantle, said: “Ruth’s bravery, boldness and sense of adventure in taking on this role is a joy to see unfold. Ursula is one of the foremost women filmmakers working in the documentary field today and her work has focused on a wide diversity of female characters in all their guises during her career.”

“The Second Woman” is on at the Young Vic across May 19 and 20, during which filming for the documentary will take place.

Undeniable, launched at CPH:DOX earlier this year, is already engaged in various international projects and partnerships with acclaimed filmmakers, including Amy Berg, Chris Smith, Penny Lane and Gabriel Sedgwick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *