Actress returns to her St Albans roots in The Level of Being

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

Archant

An actress from Hertfordshire returns to her roots next week in a play exploring the dark side of self-help.

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

Ottilie Mackintosh, who grew up in St Albans, stars in The Level of Being at the Maltings Arts Theatre.

Sleepless Arch Theatre presents Martin Arrowsmith’s dark comedy drama at the Maltings on Friday, June 30 and Saturday July 1 at 8pm.

The play tells the story of Louise. Her marriage is failing, she hates her job and her so-called friends are never there for her.

But now she’s turning her life around, thanks to Dr Doreen McDonald’s inspiring self-help bible, The Level of Being.

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

A powerful treatise on how to fulfil your life’s true potential, Louise adjusts her life in accordance with her guru’s advice – she’s meditating, meeting new people and pursuing her new-found dream of becoming an actress.

But is Dr Doreen’s advice really all it’s cracked up to be?

At what point does Louise have to start thinking for herself, and what shape will her future take?

The hour-long play has been enthusiastically received by full houses at the Nottingham Actors Studio, The Hen & Chickens Theatre in London, and in Sussex, where it was hosted by The Barebones Project.

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

It now comes to St Albans, where Ottilie Mackintosh, who plays Louise, grew up.

The actress has many happy memories of her childhood in St Albans, not least of her stage debut, when at the tender age of five she played Mary in a nativity tableau in St Peter’s Church.

Coming from acting stock, her father played DS Greig in The Bill for 10 years, she has since gone on to perform many roles, including a young Jonanna Lumley in Sky’s Little Crackers, directed by the Absolutely Fabulous star herself.

Fresh from appearing in Paul Mason’s Divine Chaos of Starry Things at the award-winning White Bear Theatre in London, Ottilie is very much looking forward to bringing The Level of Being to her childhood stomping ground.

The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans The Level of Being can be seen on stage at the Maltings Arts Theatre in St Albans

Of her troubled character in the play, she said: “Louise is fascinating because she is so extreme and yet so recognizable.

“Like a car crash, you want to look away, yet you find yourself drawn to her, she leaves you unable to turn away.

“Everyone knows a Louise; it’s a disturbing familiarity.”

Of the play, she added: “Martin’s writing confronts a destructive, narcissistic and uncomfortably familiar personality.

“The combination of very dark humour and candid dialogue makes for an unsettling, and unforgettable, experience.”

Tickets cost £12 full and £11 concessions.

• Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo

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