The Mail on Sunday - You - - Coverstory - Played Amalia in at the Me­nier Choco­late Fac­tory

I grew up in the theatre – my par­ents were both ac­tors – and I hon­estly feel that theatre is sort of a home for me, no mat­ter where it is. There is some­thing about the smell and the en­ergy of a place; it feels very com­fort­ing, even though the theatre can be quite nerve-rack­ing.

Our dress­ing room is com­mu­nal, with a ply­wood board be­tween the men and women, but I found a se­cret cubby hole with props from past shows. I would sit in there for five min­utes be­fore the show and do a quick power med­i­ta­tion, tuning out ev­ery sound or any crazy ac­tiv­ity from the day. I find I get into char­ac­ter the mo­ment I step on to the stage.

I loved this pro­duc­tion be­cause it’s so full of yearn­ing. Ev­ery sin­gle one of the char­ac­ters has their mo­ment, but we all have a sim­i­lar theme in com­mon: we’re long­ing for this huge ro­man­tic love.

I’ve been lucky with most of my parts as I’ve re­ally loved them, even when they’re slightly dev­il­ish and naughty. Amalia is very funny and witty, and yet what she wants most is to find love. It feels Pollyanna-ish to say but I looked for­ward to go­ing in and be­ing Amalia. It didn’t feel like work in any way. Play­ing Jas­mine was my child­hood dream, so try­ing on my turquoise cos­tume for the first time was an amaz­ing mo­ment. The show is so huge: the clothes are breath­tak­ing and it’s so glam­orous and glitzy. We get the most in­cred­i­ble re­sponse from the au­di­ence be­cause the show has big num­bers such as ‘A Whole New World’, which re­ally move peo­ple. It’s so re­ward­ing. I have goose­bumps ev­ery sin­gle night. There’s a mo­ment when the magic car­pet takes off and every­one is in dark­ness, and I’m sus­pended with the au­di­ence be­neath me, sur­rounded by the moon and stars and smoke to look like clouds. It’s beau­ti­ful – I al­ways think, ‘I’m so lucky.’

Plays Princess Jas­mine in at the Prince Ed­ward Theatre

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