BWW Interviews: RAGTIME's Rosalie Craig About Open Air Theatre, Tim Minchin & MATILDA!
Hi Rosalie, welcome to BWW:UK! First of all, what’s it like working in the Open Air Theatre in what’s a typical British summer?
I didn’t realise what it would be like! The weather has been so bad, in tech it was grim – I found myself thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I should have been a doctor or a lawyer instead.” But when the weather’s been fine, it’s actually quite thrilling. It’s something else – you look out and it’s pitch black, the night is in front of you, you can’t recreate it.
Ragtime is a bit of a musical theatre aficionado’s show - did you know it before you auditioned?
I have to confess I didn’t know it, but I’d heard colleagues and friends raving about it before I went to see Tim [director Timothy Sheader]. I didn’t want to listen to recordings of it either, as I didn’t want to be influenced by other performances, but now I love it - I’m a fan of the material itself, but I love it for so many different reasons. I think it’s still relevant now.
And you’ve had terrific reviews, which must be nice.
Yes, so I’ve heard! I try not to look at reviews, I don’t think it’s helpful, but my friends fill me in a bit.
And after a few years doing all sorts of shows and workshops all over the place, it must be nice to be in one place for a while.
Yes, it’s actually quite bizarre doing a rep season! I got to stay at home when I was doing London Road at the National too - it’s such a luxury to be at home, it’s win-win.
You workshopped Matilda for a while - do you wish you could have been involved in its hugely successful West End transfer?
It’s wonderful, what a great show. The character I was workshopping was eventually left out, but it was amazing to see it on stage. I worked closely with Tim Minchin during the workshopping process, singing melodies back to him and things, but then I got to go off and do London Road, working at the National, and I loved that too!
Ah, so you’re friends with Judas, then? [Minchin has recently been cast as Judas in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.)
(laughs) Yes, we’re good friends! I haven’t spoken to him since he's taken that job, actually, but of course I’ll go and see him in it.
And what’s next for you after Ragtime?
I’m talking about a couple of things next year, but I’ll definitely be doing the Tori Amos musical, back at the National.
Rosalie Craig stars as Mother in Ragtime at the Open Air Theatre
From This Author Carrie Dunn