Enjoy a night out with Ipswich Regent-bound Brooke Kinsella and the single ladies

Actress Brooke Kinsella is worried she sounds like Kerry Katona when I call her.

“This script is basically three women just talking to the audience for three hours; I don’t think I’ve ever had to learn this many lines for one performance. I have to do a northern accent, that’s the thing I’m worried about and struggling with.

“It’s more talking like Kerry Katona a lot at the moment,” she laughs as we talk about her role in comedienne Abigail Burdess’ new play, All The Single Ladies, which comes to the Ipswich Regent on April 14.

“You’re on your own basically, it’s not like somebody can cover for you if you go wrong because it’s you telling your story. I’m a little bit scared to be honest.”

Exploring the love lives of three women, it also sees Leslie Ash return to the stage for her first national tour in 17 years as seven times married Liz, who’s dating on the net and Tara Flynn playing Irish landlady Orla, who is taken advantage of by her lothario lodger.

The last time I saw Kinsella was on the ITV1 show 71 Degrees North, which saw her and a team of other celebrities braving all the Arctic could throw at them.

“It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but it was an incredible experience. I said to my mum, ‘look, I’ll be the first out and I’ll be back in a week I promise’. I was almost there to the very end, I did far better than I ever thought was possible.

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“I look back now and think I might have blagged it a little, I don’t quite know how I got that far,” she laughs.

Kinsella has worked in TV, film, radio and theatre since a child.

She’s appeared in the BBC children’s series MUD, the controversial and BAFTA-winning ITV television film No Child Of Mine, which set off a wave of publicity for its candid portrayal of sexual abuse; The Bill, The Vice, Coming Home and as Kelly Taylor in EastEnders to name just a few.

In All the Single Ladies she plays Alison, whose army husband has just died.

“She’s trying to figure out how the hell she’s going to live without her husband who she’s been with since she was 15. It’s going to be tough to play because I’m not married and haven’t lost a husband; but I have lost someone in my life so it’s going to be tough but good I think.”

She referring to her 16-year-old brother Ben, who was stabbed to death by a gang of three youths in a London street in 2008. She went on to becoming a leading campaigner in the prevention of knife crime; which earned her an MBE in 2011.

“I live with that every second of my life. The thing I love about acting is it takes me away from me and things that have happened in my life; I get to be someone else for a little while,” she says.

“Losing Ben, with this particular part I will use that to an extent; not too much because I don’t want to give myself a breakdown on stage but I’ll definitely be able to relate to the character because she’s lost the most important person in her life.”

Kinsella says she’ll never be able to walk away from campaigning until we stop losing youngsters to violence.

“If we make some kind of difference I’ll be able to rest a bit easier and feel like losing Ben was worth something.”

Tending to get gritty roles like prostitutes and drug addicts, she’s excited to be playing Alison.

“This script, it’s lovely. I’ve never done a play like this. Each woman has a brilliant story to tell and everybody will be able to relate to one of them at some point. It’s actually really funny; not all doom and gloom, bittersweet and women moaning about men.”

While definitely one for the girls, she says men will be able to relate too.

“I’d definitely say give it a go [to men] even if it’s to make your lady happy. I think the men will be in absolute hysterics because they’ll recognize themselves or that nagging lady as their partner. I think they’ll learn a lot about women that hopefully they can use in their own relationships.”

Kinsella’s just looking forward to doing something that’s got some laughs in it.

“I have done comedy to a certain extent, but I don’t know if I’m very good at it,” she laughs. “Maybe I should just stick to what I am good at. My favourite programme in the world is Friends and I do often think I would absolutely love to do a British version of that.”

So, if any producers are reading this...

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