Cinderella: A Fairytale blog – Eggs and Custard

    As we enter the final two weeks of Cinderella: A Fairytale, we caught up with cast members Craig Edwards and Lucy Tuck, who were also part of the original cast in 2011. We asked them how it has been reprising their original roles and how they’ve kept themselves going through such a long run.

    Craig – you play the Step Mother in Cinderella: A Fairytale and you’re now almost at the end of a seven week run. How does it feel to play ‘a baddie’ for all that time? What do you enjoy most about your character?

    Craig: I’ve never played a real baddie before! People expect baddies to do bad things so it’s nice when you can do something unexpected or make the audience laugh. I do some really really bad things, then some really really really bad things…it just gets worse and worse and that’s really fun. It’s quite a release for an audience when they see a character being bad cos everyone would like to be bad sometimes.

    Lucy: That’s my enjoyment playing the Step Sister – enjoying how spoilt she is and her comeuppance. Although she has some redeeming features, they only arrive right at the end. We discussed the characters and the fact that in this step family they’re very dysfunctional, with each member delivering their cruelty onto another. So Cinderella is just another opportunity to pick on somebody else. When I say I enjoy doing that, I mean you play it up as bad as you can so that everyone can enjoy when it comes back and misfires.

    Lucy – What would you say is the biggest challenge of your role as Step Sister and how do you get the balance right between being funny and cruel?

    Lucy: The biggest challenge is that if I play the Step Sister too cruel, when I come on as the Queen, even though I’m in a different costume, the audience will still recognise me and won’t receive me as the Queen. I don’t really find too many challenges though – I’m used to the quickness now and athleticism of changing roles. Because I’ve done the show as many times as I have, it’s almost like a muscle now. It’s the rigour of this show and because I enjoy it so much, I don’t feel the challenge. It’s just keeping up with the schedule that’s the hard thing…

    Our Factory Theatre is ‘in the round’ for this production. How does that affect the way in which you perform?

    Lucy: Well the show was conceived here and made in the round, so it’s a joy to come back. It was actually more of a profound adjustment when it toured and we played in flat front theatres. When it’s in the round, each bank of seating in the theatre is looking down a different lens onto the production. When it’s flat on, you’re concerned that everyone is getting the same view so there’s a real pleasure working in the round when that’s different. You’re aware that you’re part of the bigger picture so someone having your back for a few minutes is ok because it’s part of the overall scene.

    Craig: You’re also much more aware when it’s in the round that everyone’s in the same room together. It’s a much more intimate experience and all the emotional impact of the show is really happening to you in the room.

    You’re both returning to Cinderella: A Fairytale, having been part of the original cast and whilst the show has toured. Does it get harder or easier the more you do the show?

    Craig: It’s nice doing the show with new people, returning to scenes and thinking it’s different now because we’ve got a new Cinderella, a new prince, a new brother. That’s really lovely.

    Lucy: When it’s first made you feel quite precious of it, it’s something you cherish. So when it’s made again, you’re concerned about it being safeguarded. But this production is so refreshing in that it can hold itself and it can always take new performers.

    Craig: It’s like being a parent! You bring a show into the world and then when it goes off you can have a sense of pride about that and think yes, it is a great show, it’s brilliant. And it doesn’t need me but there’ll always be a part of me in the show.

    Lucy: The emotional recall wasn’t difficult. Two years had lapsed but when you’ve done a show with such regularity and you come back to it, you have a physical memory that is almost in spite of yourself. You become so streamlined, in some ways you become like a machine.

    Craig: But the audience is different every day so no matter how much you rehearse it, when the reactions are different, you just have to adjust to the new audience. And that’s why doing theatre is just fantastic – being open to anything new happening.

    Finally, how do you look after yourself during such a long run?

    Lucy: It’s just about trying to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible really. The flu jab helps and seems to be working!

    Craig: But we also absolutely love what we do so although it’s physically and mentally quite tough, it’s also brilliantly exciting. It’s a great job and a fantastic privilege to tell such a wonderful story!

    Lucy: Double show day, double egg day – that’s how I start! I’m powered by eggs!

    Craig: I’m just bowls of custard!

    Many thanks to Craig and Lucy. You can catch them in Cinderella: A Fairytale here at Tobacco Factory Theatres until Sun 22 January. For more info and to book visit the main show page.

    Check out the rest of our Cinderella: A Fairytale blog:

    It’s a roller coaster

    Meet the Musicians

    50 Best Plays for Young Audiences

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