Billie Piper says her latest stage role, about a woman desperate to have a child, feels very relevant because it’s an issue being faced by many women she knows.
“It chimed quite vividly with me because so many of my friends are finding it quite hard to go through that,” Piper says. “It seems to be a very common topic at the moment.”
Piper plays the title role of Yerma in a modern retelling of Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1934 tragedy about a woman whose desperation to become a mother is met with indifference by her husband.
Simon Stone’s version, which begins previews at the Young Vic this week, relocates the action from rural Spain to contemporary London.
Speaking during a break in rehearsals, Piper admits she hadn’t heard of the play until she was approached about the role at the end of last year.
“I read the original, and I thought that it was one of the most beautiful pieces of poetry,” she says. “It’s that story of a modern woman who is suddenly suffocated and strangled by her ticking clock.
“I witness that all around me, and I read about it frequently. I thought that it seemed like a very relevant piece of work.”