At the time of the interview Zoe Rainey was performing in Dancing at Lughnasa at Royal and Derngate in Northampton before the show goes to Oxford Playhouse. Zoe recently took time out to answer some questions about her career and the show.
The last time we interviewed you was in July 2011, when you were starring as Nessarose in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. What has happened to you since then?
As I left Wicked I started rehearsals for the National Theatre’s production of She Stoops To Conquer where I understudied Kate Hardcastle. It was an incredible experience and I also got to play Kate in a couple of the performances which was the icing on the cake. I followed that with another 18th century comedy called School for Scandal in Bath and then Finding Neverland in Leicester so a pretty interesting year all round.
You are currently performing in Dancing at Lughnasa at The Royal Derngate and Northampton, before the show heads to the Oxford Playhouse for a limited run. What can you tell us about the show and your role?
Dancing at Lughnasa is an Irish play written by Brian Friel. It is the story of The Mundy sisters set in 1936 Donegal. It is a beautifully written play that has a lot of heart and Irish charm. I play Christina Mundy who is the youngest of the 5 sisters and who has an illegitimate child. The play displays the relationships of five sisters who know each other so well and live in a world where the little music that comes from our wireless “Marconi” brings such life to our souls and the power that music and dancing has. It touches on issues that are still relevant today and it does so with a wonderful twinkle.
How does performing in a regional theatre compare to the West End?
The major difference between regional and West End theatre is the funding. With the West End the budget is much more substantial but it doesn’t stop the regional theatres producing beautiful, heartfelt and soulful productions. Sometimes there are real hidden gems in the regional theatres that just don’t get the exposure or audiences they deserve. Also as you are away from London and your home you tend to get to know the cast that little bit better which is a lovely addition to the experience.
How does working away from London affect you and your life?
Living away from London and your home is always a little tricky as you get used to your routine but it is nice once in a while to experience a slower pace in the smaller cities. I don’t have children yet so it is much easier for me but I imagine it becomes much more difficult when you are balancing a family.
Looking to the future, would you like to do more plays or musicals?
To be honest I just love being creative and working. I have adored the plays I have been involved in and I would be very excited to do more in the future. I would never leave musicals behind completely though. I think even plays are discovering just how important music is to an audience and how it can enhance an emotional intention. When I was involved in Finding Neverland last year it was wonderful to have so many beautiful songs that brought you on a journey with them so I hope there will also be more musicals in my future. What I have loved about being involved in plays is learning more. We will never know everything or have all the tools we need so if you can pick things up from people along the way which work for you then that can translate into any media. Maybe it will even open up doors to be involved in television and film. The thing with a career in acting is you never know what is next. That is the scary and the exciting thing. Anything could happen and as long as I can have fun and learn a lot along the way I will be very happy.
Dancing at Lughnasa concludes its run in June. What does the rest of 2013 have lined up for you?
As yet I don’t have anything lined up for after this production but I will enjoy every minute of Dancing at Lughnasa and the rest will work itself out.
You can book tickets to see Zoe Rainey and the rest of the cast of Dancing at Lughnasa at the following websites.
You can follow Zoe on Twitter @zoerainey
Photograph of Zoe Rainey by Electric Denman
Wednesday 29th May 2013