Helen Sheals will be appearing as Mari in Hull Truck’s production of the Jim Cartwright classic The Rise and Fall of Little Voice throughout August and she very kindly took the time out of rehearsals to answer a few questions for us about how the play is shaping up.
I’m good thanks – rehearsals are going really well. Exhausting – but great fun!
How does it feel to return to a play after such a long absence?
In some ways, it doesn’t actually feel that long! It’s strange returning to a play as a different character, because it feels so familiar but at the same time really new and challenging.
Have you enjoyed seeing the play through a different character’s eyes?
Yes, definitely. You see elements in it that you never noticed before.
Is it odd to see someone in your old role and have you been able to offer any nuggets of wisdom to Lauren Hood?
She doesn’t need them! She’s going to be amazing! But yes, it is odd, especially the part of Little Voice, because it’s such a specific role and such a special experience to perform.
How does this cast compare with your memories of your original outing in the play?
There are differences and similarities. We had a cockney Ray Say, Sadie was played by a man and Lou Bou had previously been a stand-up in real life. Phil [Hill-Pearson] is uncannily similar to the actor who played Billy – which is bizarre as he would only have been seven in 1993.
What is the best thing you’ve ever seen at the theatre?
Too Clever by Half at the Old Vic. Starring Alex Jennings and directed by Richard Jones.
What made you want to become an actor?
I started in contemporary dance and physical theatre. I found this limiting and wanted to move into acting where I could express my creativity vocally as well.
What is your favourite film?
On The Waterfront starring Marlon Brando.
If you could perform any part from any play what would it be and where?
Piaf in Pam Gems’ Piaf or Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow. On Broadway of course.
The Good Review would like to say a big thank you to Helen for her time and we wish her and the production all the very best for their run.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is on from 29 Jul 2011 – 20 Aug 2011 @ 7.45pm, Matinees Weds & Sats @ 2pm. For more information and to book tickets please click here