1) Where are you from ? How old are you?
A. I am 42-years-old and am from a beautiful seaside town called Swanage in Dorset. I am a sixth generation Swanage as my mother’s family are all from there so I have a lot of family there and I still count it as my home and a welcome respite from the craziness of London town.
2) How did you first get into acting/singing?
A. I have been singing and acting ever since a very young age. I was always apart of every local amateur group going and performed regularly in school plays and with the church too. My local dancing school June Ranger school of Dance whom I grew up taking classes. I did dancing shows, pantomimes and musicals at our local theatre. This was my hobby and now my career since the age of five.
3) Earliest performance you were in, that you can remember that is?
A. I played Sally Strawberry in our local church pantomime, alongside my little sister, Abigail as Rosie Radish. I was probably five or six.
4) How did you land the role on ITV’s Bad Girls? Did you think it would still so popular still to this day?
A. I auditioned at least five times for Bad Girls, each time I went for the role of Snowball. They changed their minds as to where the character would be from so I am lucky I am good at accents. I had to do Texan, then general American, Bolton and Wigan and even played an Irish nun in one episode. I had to give them my arsenal of accents as well as various bits of script and every time I went to the television studios in Bow I wore less and less clothing, as I was playing an ex-porn star.
The musical came off the TV series so I have been a Bad Girl for years. Bad Girls fans are the best, plus it was a ground breaking series in many ways. Depicting the plight of prisoners and injustice in the system. As well as the first ever primetime lesbian love story on UK television and the first mainstream hanging with my own character in series five. So I am not surprised it’s legacy lives on.
5) Which roles have you enjoyed over the years? Emmerdale? Casualty?
A. I am really lucky to have worked in such varied fields as primetime television dramas, independent British feature films, international theatre, new writing and West End musical theatre. I love my work has been so varied.
My career highlights include playing Snowball Merriman in ITV’s Bad Girls for two years (and collecting Best Drama at the Television Awards), singing onstage at the Royal Albert Hall with a 22-piece concert brass orchestra; originating the role of Shell Dockley in Bad Girls: The Musical at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Garrick Theatre, for which I won a TMA and was a WOS Awards Nominee. Playing Doctor Heather Lincoln in BBC’s Casualty, having grown up with my medical family. Working with Stephen Fry on Kingdom; playing Veronica, a recurring character on the institution that is Emmerdale.
My feature film premiere of Ask the Cheat at Piccadilly Vue in London’s West End, in which I play the lead, with an audience of friends and celebs. Portraying Eva Cassidy on three number one tours of the UK and Ireland, singing 28 of her song with a live band every night in Over the Rainbow.
6) How did you feel that you got to perform in Bad Girls again?
A. Before I did the job, I was very excited - sadly it didn't live up to my expectations. Although, I enjoyed revisiting my role which will always be one of the seminal roles of my career. I think it can be a mistake to revisit something so close to your heart when working with new people who lack the same experience, training, passion, accuracy and knowledge for the piece as you.
I love playing the role - that was written around me originally after years of workshops - and I made a couple of good friends but overall I found the project challenging. It was unprofessional and in parts, amateur and I was pretty embarrassed at the overall standard of the piece given my history with the show. This was borne out in the professional reviews, though they praised my performance. I wasn't even paid in full, but life goes on and I now know to do more due diligence with regard to new and unscrupulous companies. The one good thing was with all the fans and friends who came specifically to watch me due to me being a Bad Girls orginal.
It is going to lead me to working in both my own role and in charge of a production again with creative control as director, so watch this space.
7) How did you the land the role in Ask the Cheat? Did you enjoy your time on the set?
A. Ask the Cheat was written for me by a guy called Raza Mallal, the writer and producer who wrote the role for me having enjoyed my television performances to date. He was a Bad Girls fan. I was very flattered! It was great fun and especially working with my co-stars, Max Abraham and Martin Trenaman who are very funny and we laughed a lot – and working again with my old friend, Jeremy Edwards is always a treat.
8) Any upcoming projects? Films? TV? Theatre?
A. Since Bad Girls: The Musical, I performed in cabaret for my dear friend Christopher Hamilton the composer. It was an evening of his original compositions alongside my best friend, Dianne Pilkington and other great pros-17th march at the Union.
I am filming a cameo in "Lawrence After Arabia" in my beloved Dorset, and then playing the lead female role Sonia in a concert version of Godspell for Brentwood Leisure Centre alongside Chesney Hawkes and Sam Callahan on June 29th and 30th.
9) Have you had any experience teaching drama/singing?
A. I have workshopped Bad Girls: The Musical at most major drama schools and directed a full scale production in Sitges at the IAB in November 2018. I have also taught at many universities with masterclasses in television and film acting, plus guest directed for amateur companies. I give private singing lessons. I think it is important to impart knowledge and experience and enthusiasm for the arts to younger generations as I too learn from older actors I admire.
10) Have you had any performance history up in the North West?
A. I performed all over the country on three national number one UK tours in the role of Eva Cassidy, including in Lancaster; Blackpool; Manchester; Preston and Liverpool to standing ovations and great reviews. Also did a tour years ago as Agnetha from Abba for Bill Kenwright in Thankyou for the Music, and subsequently for Abba Gold and Abba Magic. More recently we toured the UK with a brand new all-female show called “Isle of Woman.” So I am well-travelled. I love the North and have many friends up there, and would love to work back in Manchester or Liverpool in particular.