The actress spoke to Love London Love Culture about starring in The Band, now playing a limited season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before heading back off on its UK tour.
Hi Emily, thanks so much for talking to me. How have you found being part of The Band so far?
It’s been an incredibly exciting journey. Working with such an amazing creative team and an equally inventive and passionate cast is inspiring and a privilege. Hard work, but hugely enjoyable, and the resulting show is a joy.
What would you say has been a real highlight for you being part of the show so far?
The draw, for me, to do this play was Tim Firth’s beautiful and funny script, but I also get to sing and dance too. And we laugh so much. Every. Single. Show.
For those who haven’t been fortunate enough to see the production yet – what can they expect?
It’s a very moving and uplifting story about female friendship, punctuated by the music of Take That. We meet a group of 16-year-old girls bound together by their love of a band. They get to go to a gig to see them live one night, but something happens, they experience a trauma, and drift apart. Twenty-five years later they meet up again and we find out what’s happened to them during that time, who they’ve become.
Could you tell me a bit more about your character Heather and what she is like to play?
Heather Carter is the joker of the pack. She’s confident and sassy. I share the role with Katy Clayton and we both agree that if we’re ever feeling a bit low we have to ‘Heather Carter it’ and everything’s ok. She’s a tonic to play.
How have audiences taken to the show in London so far?
West End audiences have been brilliant. Maybe I’m biased, being a Londoner born and bred, but I’m loving it, they seem to really get it.
Why would you say that The Band has proved so popular with audiences?
Because it surprises them, it’s not your usual jukebox musical, it has an energy and heart that beats strongly through it. I have never heard so many people say it’s not what they expected. I’m guessing a lot of people think it’s the story of Take That. They are never mentioned during the play. Not once.
If people are thinking about coming along to see the show – what would you say the main reason why they should is? You get three in one! It’s a musical, a gig and an incredibly beautiful play.
By Emma Clarendon
The Band continues to play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until 12 January 2019.