Q&A with Tanya Cubric – Commerce at the Omnibus Theater

To exchange is one of 11 shows that moved to the Omnibus Theater following the cancellation of the VAULT Festival. The production is a thought-provoking new play that explores morality and power within the European sex trafficking industry.

Commerce Cast. Credit Trade the game.

Directed by Maddy Corner, the cast is made up of Tanya Cubric (Jana), Ojan Genc (Stefan/Nikola) and Eleanor Roberts (Katarina/Elena). Set in Serbia, Bosnia and the UK, Trade is a thought-provoking new play that explores morality and power within the European sex trafficking industry.

Read our Q&A with Tanya Cubric.

Q: What made you want to be part of the Ella Dorman-Gajic business?
Tanya: I just loved Ella’s script! His writing has so much pace and rhythm that carries the heavy themes the piece explores… it almost feels effortless…?! She’s also not afraid to take the audience to really uncomfortable places, but always with a touch of humor and levity. And she never lets you off the hook…which I find exciting.

Q: What is at the heart of production?
Tanya: It’s a 60-minute rollercoaster production that invites the audience into a split-second flashback of a woman during a police raid. Her memory takes us from Belgrade just after the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia ended to 2000s London where her traffickers brought her. Through the various characters you meet and Jana’s actions, it challenges the concept of “the perfect victim.”

Q: Can you tell us about your character Jana?
Tanya: I like to compare Jana to Logan from Succession. No matter what happens to her or what she does, she never looks back, only forwards. She seizes the opportunity presented to her and thinks later. She’s always looking for the next move…it can get her into some tough spots, but I’d say it’s a hell of a survival tactic. She’s also so relatable and multifaceted. I hope she feels real to people and that they see parts of themselves in her that they didn’t expect. That would be great.

Q: The trade “brings a brutal underworld to center stage.” – How can trade be the catalyst for public awareness and action?
Tanya: I don’t know if plays alone can be catalysts for action…raising awareness maybe…opening up questions about your biases maybe…but only for people who are open to what their opinions are questioned in the first place…

Q: How exhausting is it to act in a production like Trade? And how do you detach yourself from “everyday” life?
Tanya: Oh, it’s a huge privilege to star in a production like this with such an incredible and supportive creative team…any emotional or physical tax you pay is offset by this.

Q: Why should everyone agree to see Trade?
Tanya: All the foregoing! Is it really just a really exhilarating ride that will make you laugh, cry and sometimes make you feel a little uncomfortable in your seat?

Q: Commerce is in the Omnibus Theater for a short time in February – what’s next for you in 2022?
Tanya: I’m going on vacation and then we’ll see! It looks like a longer run is a possibility, so fingers crossed for that…

Omnibus Theater
1 Clapham Common North Side, London SW4 0QW
February 15 – 19, 2022

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