We can't wait to bring to the stage Victoria Wood's hilarious and heart-warming Talent, led by Lucie Shorthouse and Jamie-Rose Monk.
Playing Maureen - the role formerly played by Victoria Wood - we catch up with Jamie-Rose to find out all about the show and what it felt like to be back performing on stage.
How does it feel to be working on this production? Especially after the past year, what have you missed the most?
It feels absolutely wonderful to be working on Talent, I’m so grateful to be back in a rehearsal room with incredible creatives working on a piece that is so rich. There is so much for us to work with it’s just a complete joy, especially after the last year. I’m so happy theatre is back, I’ve missed the whole process of discovering things in the room and collaborating. I’m really excited to share what we have been working on with audiences.
Tell us about the show. What can audiences expect?
This show packs a punch! In the short running time the audience can expect Victoria Wood’s classic comedy, her beautifully crafted characters, witty and insightful songs and of course a 70s vibe throughout. The show is about friendship, dreams and connection.
Who is your character and how do they resonate with you?
I play Maureen who is the faithful friend of Julie. Maureen is kind-hearted, inexperienced and often ignored. She is resigned to her life continuing in the same old way and Julie brings excitement and fun - if at times a little too naughty for Maureen to handle. I resonate with Maureen at times when I feel unsure of myself and where I fit in, it has been really cathartic to explore that.
Victoria Wood is so cherished in British comedy – what is your fondest or most stand-out memory of her and/or her work?
There are so many! Victoria Wood is a huge inspiration to me and so many people. One of my favourite sketches/characters of hers is Chrissie who wants to swim the channel and of course the whole of dinnerladies.
How does it feel to be performing in Sheffield – have you worked with us here before, or is this your first time at the Crucible?
I’ve never worked at the Crucible before, it’s such a beautiful venue and everyone is so welcoming! Could not ask for a better experience for my first theatre job after lockdown.
Did you know much about Talent before reading the script?
I didn’t know much about Talent before I read the script. I’m so pleased to be introduced to it and excited to share the play with new audiences!
The play centres around the theme of women’s experience - and often resilience - in the entertainment industry of the late 70s/early 80s. How do you feel this will resonate in the time we’re in now?
The experience of the women in this play will really resonate with a 2021 audience. We are much more aware of the problems now but there is still unfortunately a long way to go. It has been interesting and at times challenging to not shy away from some of the moments in the play but ultimately, we must serve the story and it is an extremely important part of the overall piece.