Enter stage left... An Ugly Sister (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)
Date: 3 December 2011
How unpleasant can you make her?
As well as fulfilling a role similar to that of the Dame, the Ugly Sisters also replace the character of the "baddie", and so you can go quite far in the unpleasant portrayal of them. But I think it is still important to make them fun, so the audience will still find something naughty and mischievous about them, but also enjoy their antics.
Do you model her on someone – in fiction or in real-life?
I think that all characters are modelled on some one, or rather on a cross-section of various people, to make a patch-work of various entertaining and humorous characteristics.
How grotesque can your dress and make-up be?
That’s up to the designer! In this case, as grotesque as he (Mark Walters) wishes.
How do you manage the interplay with your other sister in particular and with Cinderella?
The script puts you into various situations with all other characters, and it is your job to bring life to these situations and make them entertaining. At the Queen's Theatre we are a repertory company and we all know each other very well, so that working together is on the whole made easier by the banter that you already have together as a company.
Do adults or children enjoy the Ugly Sisters more?
The Ugly Sisters have something for both adults and children. There is innuendo for the grown-ups, and visual comedy for the younger members of the audience.
Have you played the part before?
I have never played an Ugly Sister before. I have played Dame – Widow Twankey in Aladdin last year – but this is a very different experience.
- by Simon Jessop
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