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Jenny Platt On...Spinach

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Jenny Platt is best known to audiences as playing the character Violet in Coronation Street. Jenny’s recent theatre credits include Twelfth Night (Stafford Shakespeare Festival), Chimps (The Wolsey Theatre), The Merchant Of Venice (Bolton Octagon) and The Traits (Paines Plough). She lives in Manchester with her partner Rupert Hill and their daughter Matilda. She is about to star in Spinach at the Royal Exchange - a new play described as an all sung, edge of your seat thriller.

Can you tell us a a bit about the production and Waters Edge Arts?
When the Royal Exchange ran their PUB season in the Studio at the end of 2009, Waters Edge experimented with the idea of creating a half hour sung play, Love Shift. This was really successful and the Exchange invited them back to develop this genre and to create a new, longer piece of work, which has become Spinach. Waters Edge are setting up a brand new theatre and arts centre in Chorlton, The Edge, which launches in May.

So it's sung. How is that going? Is it
Glee or Help!?
Ha ha!! It's not particularly Glee like. The music isn't performed in the usual musical-esque way (no jazz hands allowed!) The characters inhabit a world where singing is just their way of speaking so there are no songs as such - there are beautiful melodies and catchy riffs but words don't necessarily rhyme and the music doesn't have a traditional verse and chorus structure. That being said - don't be put off because the music is fantastic and extremely accessible.

You have starred in The Merchant Of Venice, Twelfth Night and now a sung piece. Do you enjoy these challenges?
Very much. I think the joy of being an actor is that you're never quite sure what you're going to be doing next......Maybe next time I could sing the Merchant of Venice?

How does your character fit into the plot?
My character, Kate, has been tied up and drugged along with another guy, Tom. Neither of them has any memory of how or why they got there. Over the course of the play she and Tom attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding their circumstances.

What have you seen on stage recently that you enjoyed?  
I've been pretty lax on the theatre front for the past few months because of having a 10 month old baby - so going out is more of a challenge. Last week though I was lucky enough to see Winterlong at the Exchange studio which I thought was an extremely powerful peice, with outstanding performances.

Do you and Rupert try to time your acting jobs so that there's always one of you at home?
Unfortunately no. Rupert's off filming a movie at the moment and I'm rehearsing so we never see each other. It's hard but we'll both be moaning when we're out of work again!

How is parenthood? Are you a mumsnet fan or does the debating about what's wrong/right drive you mad?
Oh my goodness you could drive yourself insane with all the advice out there! Not really into mumsnet (no offence) but it's just not my thing. I love parenthood. Really love it. Our daughter is just peachy.

What are you most looking forward to about performing in Manchester?
Everything! I've always wanted to do something at The Royal Exchange. Plus I'll be able to spend all day with Matilda - best of both worlds!!!

Jenny Platt was speaking to Glenn Meads

Spinach is at the Royal Exchange Studio from 3 - 12 March.


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