Theatre's bright young things

Despite the unwelcoming nature of the West End, London is still a breeding ground for innovative young theatrical talent. Time Out meets the class of 2006 in the Soho Theatre

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    The early starter

    Vinette Robinson, 25

    Robinson has just played a lead role in ‘Sugar Mummies’ at the Royal Court. When did you realise you might act for a living? I was 13, and two of us acted out a dramatic poem [Colonel Fazackerley Butterworth-Toast] at a Speech and Poetry festival. I decided then that acting was for me. My dad was a bit wary – before that I’d wanted to be a barrister. Where did you train? I went to a child agency that did after- school drama classes. I was 17 when I got my first job in ‘Cops’ on BBC2. I didn’t know if I wanted to go to drama school , but all the roles I was getting were young single mums, or prostitutes. So I went to Webber Douglas for three years, and loved it.

    You’ve done both modern and classical theatre. Do you have a preference?
    No. ‘Sugar Mummies’ was the first modern play I’ve done, so it was quite a nice change. But I’m glad that my first experience of theatre was classical, because it can be more challenging. I spent a year at the RSC doing Jacobean plays – and the structure and detail of those plays was amazing.
    You’ve worked for Mike Leigh in ‘Vera Drake’. What did you learn?
    You do everything in such detail – you know your character’s family tree. I was only on screen for a couple of minutes, but I knew that woman’s life inside-out.
    What’s the most exciting piece of theatre you’ve ever seen?
    Shared Experience’s ‘Passage to India’ in 2003 – the first physical theatre I’d seen. Also Complicite’s ‘Measure for Measure’ (a bit cheeky, because I was in it).
    What’s your dream job?
    I always want to do the jobs I’m scared of. I’d like to work with Simon McBurney again on something devised, and I’d also like to work with Mike Leigh again.

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