Ahead of Deathtrap's run at Everyman Theatre from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 October 2017, SoGlos catches up with actress of stage and screen Jessie Wallace to talk about her lead role in the play.
The EastEnders and Chicago star reveals what audiences can expect from the thrilling show, how she prepares for theatre roles and her love of performing live on stage.
We’re in Cardiff this week, with lovely audiences, a lovely theatre and the show’s going really well.
Yeah I like Cheltenham; I think it’s a really pretty town and I like the theatre as well.
It’s a comedy thriller by Ira Levin. It ran for four years on Broadway, making it the longest running thriller comedy on Broadway.
It’s about writer Sidney Bruhl, played by Paul Bradley, who was very successful back in the 1970s. He’s got writer’s block and his last Broadway hit was 18 years earlier. He receives this play from one of the students at the university and he tells his wife, Myra Bruhl, who I’m playing, that this play could earn millions, they could make a film out of it and it could run for years on Broadway.
His plan is to kill the writer and make out that he wrote it. Myra tries to convince him to collaborate with him and he ends up inviting this young man round and that’s when all the twists and turns happen.
Yeah, and this is a character I haven’t played before. She seems quite vulnerable but she’s very clever. It’s the journey that she goes on that I like.
I only had two costumes in it; they’re not the sort of thing that I’d wear but they are very 70s.
It’s just the buzz you get when you go on stage; performing every night with other cast members and the reaction you get from the audience. You can just keeping working on it, every night you can do something a bit better and find something different to do.
With television you do something and then it’s gone. Then it takes six weeks or even longer for it to go out, but theatre is a direct thing and you’re interacting with the audience which is great.
No, I don’t get nervous. I don’t have time for it!
There are loads of things I’d like to do. I’d love to do a new play that’s never been done before, or a one-woman show.
It’s the whole rehearsal process that you do with the other actors. You can do it organically and just find things and bring them on to the stage for the audience.
No, you don’t have time to rehearse with television.
I think that the EastEnders audience is out there as I see them every night and there are people out there who love Paul Bradley. Adam Penford, the director, has done some great plays and there are Ira Levin fans out there too, so the audience is mixed.
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