Theatre Royal launches ‘At Home’ celebrity interview series
- Credit: Nick Briggs
The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds may be closed because of Covid-19 restrictions, the pantomime may be cancelled for this year but the creative team at the Regency theatre continue to work hard to provide quality entertainment for the people of Suffolk.
This week they are launching a new online series called At Home With… in which celebrity pairings strike up lively conversations with each other from their own homes.
The first live event happens on Thursday August 20 as Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley) and her real-life pal Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) chat about careers, life and whatever else takes their fancy. The conversation will be hosted by Theatre Royal’s artistic director, Owen Calvert-Lyons and ticket-holders will have the chance to submit questions to the pair in advance.
On Wednesday August 26 star of stage and screen, Alex Jennings will be in conversation with Theatre Royal regular, Libby Purves, OBE. The pair are promising a plethora of backstage stories of life and ‘on-stage death’ in the world of theatre.
Alex, associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, is best known for playing Alan Bennett in the film version of Lady In The Van as well as in two one act plays Cocktail Sticks and Hymn. His other credits at the National Theatre include The Habit of Art, Present Laughter, Stuff Happens, His Girl Friday, The Winter’s Tale, The Relapse, Albert Speer and My Fair Lady.
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Suffolk resident Libby Purves is the regular host of the Theatre Royal’s An Evening with… events, most recently a sell-out evening with Sir Derek Jacobi. As well as being a Radio 4 presenter she is a writer and columnist for The Times, and was chief theatre critic at The Times from 2010-2013 and is an independent online theatre reviewer at www.theatrecat.com.
Then, on Thursday September 3 will see the theatrical force of nature Christopher Biggins – now simply known as Biggins – having a good old chin wag with his gal pal Lesley Joseph, best known for her role as Dorian Green in Birds of a Feather.
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Biggins hosted Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds The Love Gala in 2018 and during the past 30 years has appeared in everything from the Rocky Horror Picture Show to Porridge to I’m A Celebrity to any number of pantomimes.
This hugely talented actor, humourist, writer and raconteur brings his own inimitable sense of humour and warmth to all his work. As well as being a regular Narrator in the National Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, Biggins has also managed to fit in a year with The Royal Shakespeare Company appearing in London Assurance with Judi Dench. Other theatre work has included a national tour of Side by Side by Sondheim, he sang the role of Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar at London’s Barbican Theatre, appeared in Beyond The Fringe and more recently in Cluedo and On Approval.
Lesley Joseph is new to Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and is best known for playing Dorien Green in the BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather from 1989 to 1998, and again from 2014 to 2017. Other television credits include Absurd Person Singular (1985) and Night and Day (2001–2003). Her stage roles include UK touring productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie (2005), Calendar Girls (2011) and Annie (2015). In 2018, she was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, for the original West End production of Young Frankenstein.
These events are in partnership with and booked through Theatre Tokens https://www.theatretokens.com/at-home-with and are sponsored by Theatre Royal’s Autumn Sponsor, Churchgates. Running time will be approximately 45 minutes. Tickets cost £5 with an option to add a donation to Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds when booking. Any donations will be added to their The Show Will Go On! appeal.