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