Sarah Jayne Dunn On...JB Shorts 7Date: 7 March 2012
Manchester born actress Sarah Jayne Dunn is best known for her role as Mandy in Hollyoaks. But she has not only forged a successful career on stage in the likes of Boeing Boeing and When Harry Met Sally but also rubbed shoulders with Hollywood's elite when she starred in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. She is about to return to the theatre again in the highly successful JB Shorts of which this is the seventh. We caught up with her to find out more about these comedies and her career highlights so far.
What attracted you to JB Shorts 7?
JB Shorts are a great opportunity to be creative and perform to an intimate audience, the script for the short I am in Match of The Day caught my attention straight away and I just had to be involved. It's also great to be performing in Manchester again and to be part of something that is going from strength to strength.
Tell us a bit about your short - Match of the Day?
It is written by Chris Thomson (ex-senior writer for Emmerdale), is being directed by Martin Gibbons. It's a story between a high profile football player and his physio, their relationship is playful and flirty but also strained and awkward and you wonder whether they'll end as friend or foe, it's the fine line between love and hate.
Actors associated with soap operas used to get a rough deal when they trod the boards or diversified but JB celebrates that you are known faces. Therefore, do you think the perception is changing?
I feel the perception has already changed, lots of TV actors are crossing over to theatre without anyone batting an eyelid. I think as long as you can prove that you are up to the challenge then it doesn't matter what other work you have done and audiences like to see familiar faces playing different roles.
You have starred in When Harry Met Sally and Boeing Boeing and now JB. What do you enjoy about being in comedies?
I have always enjoyed comedy roles and have been fortunate enough in my career to be given the opportunity to portray many roles from comedy to dark drama. Being in comedies though is great to perform, especially on stage as the audience really engage with you from the word go and you always leave the theatre feeling elated.
In When Harry Met Sally - the emphasis was on you and Rupert Hill to carry the play. How did this help you prepare for JB Shorts?
Match of The Day is a two hander and although there were 6 cast in When Harry.... the play revolved around myself and Rupert Hill's characters so this has already prepared me for the task of having to keep the audience engaged throughout the play, without being able to rely on other cast or music or lots of props. It means the audience can really get absorbed in the characters with no distractions.
You've had some great acting jobs. What have been your three favourites?
Hollyoaks will always be a favourite because it's the job that I learned my craft and where I decided that acting was the career path for me. I also made life long friends there and have only fond memories. Boeing Boeing was a fantastic experience, as it was my first professional theatre job and I had so much fun! Touring was exciting and the cast were brilliant, with such an amazing script and director to work with it was a privilege to be involved! Batman- The Dark Knight was a surreal but incredible moment in my life, to say that I was a part of such a big thing and to work with such huge names was absolutely overwhelming and I will treasure it forever.
Why should audiences see JB Shorts 7?
JB Shorts 7 is a great night out in Manchester showcasing local talent, writers, cast and crew. It's a chance to see 6 great plays whilst having a catch up with friends and something a little different to do and it's only £6!!
What are your plans when the run is over?
I already have a panto lined up in Middleton for the end of the year and I will be onscreen in Kay Mellor's new drama The Syndicate in the Summer. I'm also hoping to do more theatre and have several exciting projects on the horizon.
Sarah Jayne Dunn was speaking to Glenn Meads.
JB Shorts 7 is at Joshua Brooks at 106 Princess Street in Manchester from 20 - 31 March.
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