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BWW INTERVIEWS: Actress And Model Abi Titmuss Of STAGE FRIGHT

Hi Abi, and thanks for joining us. You're in rehearsals for Stage Fright at the Canal Cafe at the moment - how's it going?

Really well. I'm shattered, but it's brilliant, and we're having a lot of laughs.

So the cast is gelling quickly?

Yes. Sion [Sion Tudor-Owen] and Alex [Alex Barclay] are fantastic, so I'm really having to up my game and I'm learning a lot. And it's nice to be working on a new play and bring a new character to life.

Tell us about your character.

Geraldine is an actress; she's talented, and she boasts about training at Rada, though I think she might have done a summer school there rather than a full course. She's met Charles, an older actor, and his friend Peter, who's a writer, and she wants him to write a play for them. It's a funny satire on celebrity, theatre, actors, and I get to send myself up a little bit! She's a bit split personality, she's a bit manipulative, and it's a great range for me. She wants the limelight herself, and it's a play within a play and a struggle for supremacy. I wouldn't normally do a play like this where there are elements of my own life being addressed...

I was going to say, you've done a huge variety of stuff in the past few years!

Yes - I started off in Arthur Miller, I did Up and Under, Hotel Babylon, Lady Macbeth. I get sent a lot of scripts and often it's all kind of "Her clothes fall off" in the stage directions. But I read this script a year ago and it made me laugh so much. I've been in the public eye for seven years now, and it's only in the last three years or so that I've been acting, but I hope that people can see now that I'm serious about it.

Doing Lady Macbeth is quite serious.

Yes! Last year was my biggest year. I was very lucky. Playing Lady Macbeth was daunting, of course, but I always had a deep-seated belief that I could do it. I'd never done Shakespeare before, apart from a sonnet or two when I was training, and this is such a seminal role that of course I was terrified on the first day. And the second day too. And then on the third day I decided I was bored of being scared now. Then I loved it. I found the sleepwalking scene scariest at first, but that became the scene I loved the most as I started to let go and really go for it. I'd love to play the role again one day.And I intend to.

You've had a positive critical response - did that surprise you?

However nice critics are, it's never enough! You always think you can do better. But I was most pleased for the Seagull Theatre, who produced Macbeth, because I was able to bring a bit of attention to the wonderful work that they do.

What are your plans after Stage Fright finishes?

I'm not sure yet. I've got a few scripts, and I'd love to play the Edinburgh Festival. So watch this space!

Abi Titmuss stars as Geraldine in Stage Fright at the Canal Cafe from 2nd to 20th February 2010.

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From This Author Carrie Dunn

Carrie is the UK editor-in-chief for BroadwayWorld. After spending her formative years reading books and ending up with a Masters degree in English literature from (read more...)