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BWW Interview: Paige Jarratt Discusses Making Her Professional Debut In 2020

The newly-minted graduate talks about joining the cast of Red Riding Hood at The Art Centre, Hounslow

BWW Interview: Paige Jarratt Discusses Making Her Professional Debut In 2020
Paige Jarratt

Paige Jarratt is making her professional debut in The Arts Centre's production of Red Riding Hood in Hounslow. She spoke to BroadwayWorld about getting her first professional acting job during this challenging time for the theatre industry.

Who inspired you most growing up?

So many people have inspired me and made me want to perform. I would say my family and friends have always made me work hard at it and stick with it. I've had setbacks with performing through the years, but my family have been behind me cheering me on and encouraging me the whole way.

How have you found this year? What has kept you going?

I think this year has been difficult for everyone. I've just kept myself busy and found the positives in as much as I can. My college actually really kept me going during the lockdown. We had so much support, and the effort they put in to keep us performing (even if it was in our bedrooms or kitchens on Zoom) was amazing.

The teachers have really helped me get confident with my performance skills, and I can't thank them enough. My sisters were also really helpful in lockdown, we tried to do things to keep busy, and it would be random and crazy, but we'd make fun of it each day.

How does it feel to be making your professional debut in a year when the number of performing jobs available has decimated?

Honestly, I feel so lucky to be able to get back into a theatre and have the opportunity to perform with such a talented group of people. I'm learning so much every day, and the cast is so helpful with any questions I have.

So many people have been out of work for a while, and it's so exciting to be able to actually put on a show and get stuck in. I am getting a great start in the industry.

What can we expect with this version of Red Riding Hood?

This version is hilarious. Red Riding Hood is a detective trying to find out who is helping the wolf, along with the comedic duo stickles and husk being her police pigs. There are twists and turns throughout, and the audience is part of the team, taking on the tough case with Red Riding Hood.

What's your favourite thing about the character you play, Granny Hood?

I am loving playing Granny Hood! It's a challenge trying to find the relatability to an 83-year-old woman, but I'm having loads of fun with it. My favourite quirk is that she's in her own little world, but also has a tough side to her and won't let anyone mess with her. She's a lovely granny and will remind everyone of their grandparents.

How have you found the audition and rehearsal process in COVID-times?

It's been easy to follow the rules because we've all been doing it for so long now. We know what is required of us. It's fine for spacing and making sure we are all staying safe. Mainly we are all just happy to be back at doing what we love. We really can't complain.

How can audiences be reassured about the precautions taken by the production team and The Arts Centre Hounslow?

I can assure you we are very strict. If we even touch the same piece of paper as someone else, we are sanitising that piece of paper every time.

The performance will be socially distanced. We have also been a bubble and not been seeing anyone outside of rehearsals. We would love to see as many people as possible at the show because we love performing to a live audience. It's needed for a pantomime.

Any advice for aspiring performers?

I think the main advice I would pass on is don't give up. I know that can be difficult to hear at times. If you love it, keep performing until you can't anymore. It's such a great way to stay happy and healthy.

I love getting on stage. It's so rewarding, and the whole process is so much fun. There's so much that goes on behind the scenes. When you get applause after showing the final product, there's no feeling like it.

If you had to spend Christmas Day with one of the characters from the show, who would it be?

I would spend my Christmas Day with the little pigs because they are hilarious and bring happiness and laughter to every situation. They take everything very literally and are sweet and sassy.

Why should people come to see Red Riding Hood?

It's a twist on the original story, with great characters, amazing performers, and fun for the whole family. There's comedy for the whole family. The criminal element is exciting and mysterious for all to get their teeth stuck into.

Red Riding Hood live and online at The Arts Centre, Hounslow from 15 December


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