Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Interview: Roxanne Pallett

Roxanne Pallett is currently starring as Tyler in Neil LaBute's play Some Girl(s) at the Park Theatre. 

The production is currently in its final week at Park90 with the cast also including Charles Dorfman, Elly Condron, Carolyn Backhouse and Carley Stenson. Next year she will star as Holly in the UK tour of The Wedding Singer which opens at the Leicester Curve on 6th February.

Roxanne’s previous stage credits include Rock Around The Clock (UK tour), The Vagina Monologues & Ladies Day (both Royal Court Liverpool), Satin ‘n’ Steel (Oldham Coliseum), The Rocky Horror Show (UK tour) and On The Piste (UK tour). She played Jo Stiles in ITV1’s Emmerdale with her additional screen credits including Waterloo Road, Casualty, Crime Stories, It’s A Lot, Devil’s Tower, The Violators, Wrong Turn 6 and Habit.

I recently spoke to Roxanne about what drew her to Some Girl(s), why she always loves coming back to theatre and looking for variety… 

What made you say “yes” to this play?
Well I read the script and loved how thought provoking it was. It’s got a bit everything – one minute it makes you laugh and then it makes you feel quite reflective about your own life. It’s emotionally charged which I love as an actress and as an audience member. Everything about it grabbed me immediately. Obviously the Park Theatre is one of the best off-West End theatres in London so that was an added bonus! It was an incredible opportunity.

You’ve done so many completely different theatre projects in the past; how do you find performing in such an intimate space such as Park90?
I’ve done musicals where you play to thousands and can’t see the audience, but I’ve also played a few of these small intimate theatres. The size of the theatre definitely affects your performance. A space like this really excites me. I guess there are some nerves too, but that’s healthy! I’m yet to step out to a set or stage without butterflies. 

What has everyone been like to work with?
We have such an incredible cast; we’re so strong in variety and all bring something unique to the production because we all come from different backgrounds. We all immediately connected on the first day. What I love most about this play is the strong portrayal of women on stage – the roles are brilliant for everyone. Although it’s about Guy’s journey as he meets four of his ex-girlfriends, the piece is actually led by the women. People will be able to emotionally relate to at least one of them. It’s empowering. Our director Gary Condes has been amazing to work with too, we’ve had lots of discussions about previous relationships and Gary has become a bit like a therapist [laughs]. 

After doing a lot of screen work, do you relish coming back to theatre and having the luxury of that rehearsal process?
Oh gosh, yes – it’s such a luxury and a privilege to have a four to six week rehearsal process. I love having the opportunity to explore a character in-depth and revisit emotions, it’s a beautiful process. Gary gave us all enough time to really get to know our characters and create the right chemistry with Guy. But I love the variety of doing both stage and screen work, both have their pros and cons and different challenges. It fulfills you in different ways.

There are so many different shows we could sit here and talk about for hours, but one I have to mention is The Rocky Horror Show! What’s it like to look back on your time as Janet?
Nobody can prepare you for going into The Rocky Horror Show! I had seen the film but never seen the show and remember Richard O'Brien saying to me, “Darling, just you wait…” [laughs]. He was right! The energy from the audience is insane, the Rocky Horror fans are the most passionate, loyal fans out of any show I’ve done. It’s so important to them, and they embrace you into this little bubble. It’s so iconic so I’ll never forget my time as Janet. I always say that if I can handle being heckled and called a s**t mid scene, then there’s nothing else which could ever put me off [laughs]!

You have so much support from all the different things you’ve done, what’s it like to have such dedicated support behind you?
I’m so lucky that in the last decade I’ve worked on a variety of projects from Emmerdale to Rocky Horror… and now I have such an amazing following from the Horror movies that I’ve done. I have such a wide spectrum of fans who are all so loyal to me. What’s beautiful is that I get to introduce different fans to different work – some of my Horror fans have been to seen me in a play, and then some people who know me through my theatre work have gone and watched my Indie films. It’s beautiful, there are little kids who watched me on Dancing On Ice to the older generation who have seen me at the Royal Court. There’s no better feeling than a stranger who isn’t related to you and isn’t biased stopping you in the street and saying they’ve seen you in something and enjoyed it. That’s better than a good review or any award. I’ve been very lucky!

Interviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Some Girl(s) runs at the Park Theatre until 6th August 2016. 
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit 1&3: Darren Bell
Photo Credit 2: Claire Bilyard

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