She Loves Me is our glorious romantic comedy musical, in the Crucible this Christmas. We caught up with Alex Young and Andy Coxon, who play Amalia Balash and Steven Kodaly, to find out how they're preparing for the show.
Tell us a bit about She Loves Me – what is the show about? And what makes this show so special this time of year?
Andy: She Loves Me is set in a parfumerie where we meet a mix of different characters. There are themes of love, deception and joy. It’s a really heart-warming and lovely show. It brings ‘Broadway’ to Sheffield but with some good-old British heart.
Alex: The whole show has got a real warmth about it, and I think the audience should feel that palpable sense of delicious anticipation that you always get at this time of year. There’s also a real feeling of goodness in the show - kindness and generosity but it’s never saccharine or twee - there’s a bite to it. I think it inherently celebrates human goodness which is especially important at this time. And the run up to Christmas was so bleak last year, it feels so right that we should fully embrace and take joy in the festive season this time around.
Alex, tell us a little more about your character Amalia. Is she relatable to you in any way?
Alex: Amalia is a sales girl, and takes an instant dislike to Georg which is fully reciprocated. Neither of them know that they are each other’s lonely hearts pen pal, so all sorts of hilarity ensues!
She is an intelligent, independent woman but she’s also neurotic and quite unfiltered. She loves books and stories about human relationships despite being rubbish at them herself. She fears being vulnerable and open, poor old girl. I’m nowhere near as well read as she is, but Amalia is delightfully chaotic and always late, and that I relate to that hard!
Andy, you play Steven Kodaly. How does he fit into the story?
Andy: Kodaly is the best clerk in the store (or so he thinks). He has many ladies on the go including fellow clerk Ilona (played by Kaisa Hammarlund). He plays deceitful, unseen games in order to try and ruin his boss Maraczeck (played by Karl Seth)’s parfumerie with future, competitive plans of his own.
What excites you the most with She Loves Me?
Alex: It’s been so lovely getting to know this show. I’ve never seen it before but know it to be a huge favourite of theatre lovers and I really see why now. It’s a total gem of a show, so it’s been really exciting to discover it. Ben Stones’ design is also a triumph. It’s going to look very beautiful and very stylish. And just to be back on stage with a live audience after so long will be the most exciting thing ever.
Andy, this is your first show at the Crucible. How is your experience of working in Sheffield?
Andy: It’s such an easy going, inclusive building with a great bunch of friendly people so far. I feel very comfortable and like I’ve been here for months already!
Alex, you have worked at the Crucible many times before, how does it feel to be back in Sheffield this Christmas?
Alex: Oh it’s lovely! I love this theatre and all the people that work here. And the Sheffield audiences are easily my favourite. Honestly, I think the people in Sheffield are the most friendly and kind people, I’m so, so fond of this city. I think everyone at the theatre is really up for having a good time after such a tricky few years, so it’s just the best to be here. I’ve also had a baby girl, Maggie, since I was last here, so it’s gorgeous to be up here with her. I was pregnant during both Guys and Dolls and Coriolanus so she’s already begun to challenge me for the title of most Crucible appearances by one person!