Can you tell me some of your career highlights so far?
There have been quite a few but I loved playing Marlene Dietrich in Piaf at The Donmar Warehouse opposite Elena Roger and directed by Jamie Lloyd. We sang ‘La Vie En Rose’ together sharing a stand up 1930’s microphone, with a terrific sharp, tight spotlight (lit by Neil Austin) and I was dressed in an amazing two piece, made to measure, army suit with a high waist and braces. There were other amazing outfits too and plenty of other moments but that particular one sticks in my mind as a really beautiful and clear memory. The character of Marlene is one that I hope to play again in some capacity. She was a strong, sexy, elegant and intelligent woman.
Another would have to be Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream directed by Michael Grandage. A gift of a role and the feeling of complete freedom and invention that only Shakespeare can deliver to an actor whilst speaking the verse was thrilling.
Tell me about your latest show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. What is the show about and what attracted you to the role you are playing?
It’s about two conmen who wind up in the South of France and try to compete with each other over everything, including my character Christine Colgate, until it all goes wrong for them. It’s a night of entertainment and laughter. I was attracted to it because I’ve never done a full blown musical in the West End where I’ve had to sing properly and really challenge myself vocally. So it has been a real learning curve in many ways.
Have you ever had any funny/disastrous on-stage experiences?
Constantly. I’m very naughty but my lips will stay sealed….
Are there any other theatre roles that you would like to have a go at
I’d like to do more Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. I’d also love to do some new writing projects. But mostly, I’d like to work with Mike Leigh.
If you could be the opposite sex for a day, what theatre role would you like the play?
Hmmmm….well seeing as there are quite a few productions of late and currently that are challenging gender casting I guess it’s more of a reality that I could actually play a male role…so let’s say Malvolio in Twelfth Night.
What are your thoughts on theatre etiquette? What things annoy you when you are performing or when you are in the audience?
I think people on their phones is a big no no. When I was in Singin’ In The Rain a girl, sat in the front row, spent most of the show glued to her phone. She seriously annoyed me! I was so close to jumping off the stage to grab it out of her hands. I didn’t, of course, but we did make sure she got drenched at the end as the rain poured down.
Why do you think people should come and see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels?
Because it’s in arguably one of the most beautiful Theatres in the West End and it is an evening of classy comedy with some great performances thrown in too, plus an incredible Ensemble, who also happen to be rather easy on the eye!
Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is booking at the Savoy Theatre until 7 March 2015. Click here to book tickets.