The Theatre-specific Q&A

OK, it’s one of those forward thingies, but it’s fun! So I’m going to do it.

You’ve probably already told us 25 things about yourself….et al. But how about a theatre-specific list? Answer all or some; tag me back or don’t; share your list with friends, or hide it under your pillow.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST SHOW?

Excluding school Christmas shows growing up, the title role in Medea: byword for evil, the Countee Cullen adaptation of the Euripides text.

"The Medea" (Williamstheatre, USA, 2002). Photo: Cynthia Locklin
Medea with Jason (Williamstheatre, USA, 2002). Photo: Cynthia Locklin

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET INVOLVED WITH THEATRE?

Always loved live performance, especially theatre (including musicals, which first got me going!). Films too. Was an irresistible urge.

WHAT’S THE LAST/MOST RECENT SHOW YOU’VE DONE?

Still running — Sex, Lies & Money.

HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANY BETTER SINCE YOUR FIRST SHOW?

I should hope so! If nothing else, I’m growing in confidence & taking more risks, so the portrayals are growing increasingly honest.

THE THREE THINGS YOU MUST HAVE WHEN WORKING ARE

Sleep and water/Lucozade… Can’t think of a third!

THE ONE THINGS I CAN’T STAND WHEN I’M WORKING IS

When people don’t pull their weight. Makes things impossible for everyone else, since the production is only as strong as its weakest link.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE SHOW TO DO EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT YEAR, IT WOULD BE…

Wow… I dunno. Probably Medeaor another Greek play, as long as I didn’t go nuts. The female characters are always outstanding.

GIVEN A CHOICE, WOULD YOU PREFER WATCHING OR WORKING ON A SHOW?

On stage, on stage!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SHOW RELATED MEMORY

Oh meh goodness… There are so many. But I’d have to recall two of the funniest moments I’ve ever had on stage.

One where my husband in Chekhov’s “The Seagull” is supposed to say, “Bring her husband a horse”, but instead said “Bring her horse a husband”. It was theatre in the round in a very intimate configuration, and the entire cast began to crack up, some streaming with tears… including our director who was in the audience! It took us a while to compose ourselves, but we ploughed on valiantly through giggles!
The second was a moment just the other day where, in true “method” fashion, a scene-mate of mine was to fetch a bottle of pills from her purse, which the stage hands had padded with newspaper. When she couldn’t put her hand on the bottle after a few tries, she emptied the bag of the newspaper, strewing it all over the stage with a few vigorous expletives. I was meant to be crying at the time, but had to struggle to stifle a laugh. At least the audience had a good guffaw.

HAVE YOU EVER WORKED A SHOW UNDER THE INFLUENCE (OF ANY MOOD ALTERING DRUG)?

Yuh huh. Just the other day. LOL. Was nervous I would drop cues… but I didn’t! It was liberating. Tee hee.

WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE SEEN SOMEONE DO, ONSTAGE OR BACKSTAGE?

Talk backstage during a show while their mic was still on. Both the sound man (who should have turned the mic off once she’d gone off) and the talker (who shouldn’t have been talking backstage with or without a mic) needed a clout. The audience heard every word, and it wasn’t flattering!

WHAT’S THE DUMBEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE, ONSTAGE OR BACKSTAGE?

Go on stage with my entire dress on back to front ranks highly. But running backstage during a Marionettes Christmas concert at the wrong time to do a voiceover transition & reading a passage about the devastation of the Holocaust before the Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9) instead of before “The Inscription of Hope” and stopping mid-sentence when the stage manager caught himself… Oh, the horror!

DO YOU KEEP SOUVENIRS FROM YOUR SHOWS?

Usually the script, a programme, and maybe a show poster if I like the artwork.

IF YOU COULD DO A SHOW WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE?

Wow… Judi Dench.

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE A PERSONAL THEATRE MOTTO, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

“Dig deeper”

I’M NOT SUPERSTITIOUS, BUT…

I like to have a similar warm up and warm down routine before and after a show. Nothing fancy — just some centring time.

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