Tag Archives: Ewens Abid

Interview With

Ewens Abid

Actor

Ewens Abid

Ewens Abid

Actor

Interviewed – May 2020

 

To kick us off – would you like briefly to introduce yourself

Hello! Bonjour! Salam!
My name’s Ewens Abid.
I’m a French/Algerian actor based in London.

How long have you been pursuing your chosen career, and what made you choose this path?

I have a background in economy, sociology, and business, but in my last year at college I started taking acting classes.

After finishing my business studies, I got into East 15 Drama School on the BA Acting International course which was the perfect curriculum for me and what I had in mind for my career. It was a lot of mixing classical and modern training with great emphasis on international theatre/film makers, and most importantly, empowering students to create their own work!

But what got me into acting and pushed me to start taking acting classes was the thought of having regrets when I’ll be older. I realised some people in my family had huge regrets for not giving themselves the chance to try and pursue their dream jobs. It was really hard for me to see that.

That’s what got me into acting.

This is what motivated me and still motivates me to this day.

As well as being an actor, you are also a credited writer. Which is your preferred, if any, discipline?

Acting is definitely my favourite.
There is no other feeling like it in the world!
But I also believe that, as a creative, it’s not so much a question of whether I prefer acting or writing or even film making…
At the end of day, they are all here to tell a story.
And I love telling stories!
That’s what I love about my job.

What drew you to the story around which your acclaimed production of “Belamour” is based? Is it in any way autobiographical or a depiction of your own family and/or experiences?

Yes, you are right.

‘Belamour’ is, in a way, a depiction of my family’s story and experiences. The character of Belamour was based on my Uncle, who’s suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. The skeleton of the play follows his life pretty accurately.

On the other hand, the character himself incorporates other true-life events and stories from my dad, other family members, and of course my own.

What drew me to this specific story was the incredibly challenging journey that my family has been going through still to this day.

It started as a way for me to better understand my family’s history and background, but it quickly became much more than that. I realised that this story could really move and inspire people across all generations and hopefully help them discover or remember their own family history.

That’s why one of the first things I wanted for this show was for it to be non-profit and in aid of MS society UK.

What is the earliest piece of music/art/film/theatre (any medium in fact) that you remember having an impact on you, or that inspired you to pursue your chosen career?

LA HAINE (1995) by Mathieu Kassovitz

 

What part of the process of the production of a work, from conception to performance do you enjoy the most?

• When a new idea bursts into my head for the first time!
• Creating marketing content!
• And my favourite is performing it for the first time. This feeling of, “I said I would do it two years ago, and now I just did it…”

Were you in the middle of a project when the lockdown was put in place?

Yep… I was in Ukraine for a shoot, but as soon as we got there, we were told that we would be flown back to London the next day because Ukraine was closing its borders and going into lockdown.

Luckily, we made it back safe and sound just a few days before the UK lockdown.

How are you coping with life in isolation and have you any tips for others on how best to get through the lockdown?

It’s hard, but staying active and creative has worked really well for me so I would say that, in my opinion, this is the best way to get through the lockdown.

This allowed me to work on stuff I wasn’t able to before, like creating my first short film based on my one man show “BELAMOUR” and learning new skills along the way.

But also… Realising and accepting that this situation is far from over is also, I think, very beneficial.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when the lockdown is over?

Try to rehabilitate myself to have a reasonable bedtime hour.

And go horse riding!

 

What would you like the future to hold in store for you?

Happiness.

Quickfire round: 

Best show you’ve seen?
“Misty” by Arinze Kene

Show that made you cry?
“Yvette” by Urielle Klein-Mekongo

Show that made you laugh?
*A Great Big Sigh* By Maryhee Yoon and Riley Marinelli

 

Most embarrassing moment?
When I first arrived in the UK I started kissing everybody on the cheeks the French way and yeah… took me a while to get it. People don’t do that over here…

Happiest moment?
First time my dad said he was proud of me.

Biggest fear?
Loneliness

Proudest moment?
Teaching my little 4 year old brother how to swim.

Any secrets you want to share with us…?
My full name is actually Ewens Gérard Enzo ABID

Thank you Ewens.

 

Interviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography courtesy Ewens Abid

 

Ewens Abid

 

 

Find out more about Ewen from the links here:
Instagram – @ewensabid @enzo_productions
Twitter – @ewensabid
YouTube – Ewens Abid
Spotlight – Ewens Abid
Website – www.yaxistheatre.co.uk

 

 

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Belamour

★★★★

Etcetera Theatre

Belamour

Belamour

Etcetera Theatre

Reviewed – 19th August 2019

★★★★

 

“the true warmth and intricacies of his personality shine through as he laughs and bounces off his audience”

 

‘The Oxford Arms’, an old Victorian pub, nestled in the heart Camden market in North London, is home to the Etcetera Theatre. This is one of twenty-seven spaces hosting shows for the Camden Fringe which, in its 14th year, is showing a selection of talent ranging from comedy and improv to dance and opera. ‘Belamour’, directed by Zois Pigadas, is a non-profit, one-man show, based on true life experience and raising money for the MS Society. Boldly confrontational, the piece addresses themes of family, love and identity, wrapped up in a story about an incurable and crippling illness.

Belamour (Ewens Abid) lives in France and is of Algerian descent. Snapshots of Belamour’s story are performed in chronology: the experience of growing up on a concrete estate in Belfort, France; his mother’s glorious cooking; a brief time spent dealing drugs and then progressing fortuitously into the building trade. As life seems to be looking up for Belamour, he collides with the beautiful Monica and everything changes.

Abid, who also wrote the show, begins the production by questioning natural prejudice towards his identity. Audience response is encouraged which infuses the piece with energy. From the outset, identity is framed as the main motif. Belamour is torn between his family and starting a loving relationship in the modern world. Interestingly, the devastating illness, multiple sclerosis, although well-explained, is explored less. The character’s struggle with his illness could have been developed further.

A lifeless wooden dummy, twin to our charismatic narrator, is positioned centre stage and is used imaginatively to command the space. For example, it towers over Belamour as the concrete estate that was once his home. The grey hoodie and black joggers worn by both, cleverly enhance this scene.

The play is as much about words, language and sound as a degenerative loss of movement. Belamour speaks English, interspersed with a hybrid of Arabic and French. The languages are masterfully intertwined into the script. The audience are not spoon-fed translations which are few. However, humorous mimes accompany parts of the spoken script to ensure that nothing is lost. Light comedy precedes deeper poetry which posits strong metaphors throughout, the main one being the tragic image of a mermaid, trapped between land and sea, desperate to prove you do not need legs to run.

Sound and lighting (Stephanie Watson) elevate the action, such as the music on the dance floor and rhythmic heartbeats, as well as an ominous rendition of the ‘Mission Impossible’ soundtrack which portends Belamour’s insurmountable quest in search for truth. Lighting is used to transport us to different scenes, from the disco to the cold blue light of the moon, infusing the play with its comi-tragedy.

Ewens Abid delivers this play with incredible energy and Belamour’s tragic plight is deeply moving. He juggles multiple characters and themes but most importantly, the true warmth and intricacies of his personality shine through as he laughs and bounces off his audience. The show is proof to the astonishing feats that can be achieved by a one-man show.

 

Reviewed by Amy Faulkner

Photography by Nick Mauldin 

 


Camden Fringe

Belamour

Etcetera Theatre until 25th August as part of Camden Fringe 2019

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Jailbirds | ★★ | December 2018
The Very Well-Fed Caterpillar | ★★★★ | December 2018
Bricks of the Wall | | January 2019
Saga | ★★★★ | March 2019
Safety Net | ★½ | April 2019
The Wasp | ★★★½ | June 2019
Past Perfect | ★★★★ | July 2019
Vice | ★★½ | July 2019
The Parentheticals: Improdyssey | ★★★★ | August 2019
Women On The Edge | ★★★ | August 2019

 

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