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Leanne Best On ... The Match Box

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Leanne Best is a well known face to audiences in the North West having starred in the Liverpool Playhouse productions The Resistible Rise of Arturo, The Hypochondriac, Our Country's Good, A Streecar Named Desire and Corrie on Tour. She is about to star in the premiere of Frank Mc Guinness's new play - The Match Box at the Playhouse. We caught up her to find out more.

Tell me a bit about the play?
It's a one woman show. It's a new play by Frank McGuinness and Lia Williams is directing. Without giving too much away it's a thriller about Sal, a woman from Liverpool, who is living this strange existence on an island. It's obvious that something brought her there to this altered life.
What are the challenges and what are you most enjoying about your role as Sal?
The challenge is that it's one person trying to make a moment alive.Usually when you're on stage you're bouncing off others, and this is quite different to that. It's one world that needs to be lived in and real. There is a level of focus that's needed to keep a rapport with the audience. The most enjoyable part is that being in a one woman show is incredible as an actress. I love this work - there is so much going on inside of my character. Her response to what has happened is quite extraordinary. Its so beautifully written, and clever, and warm. It's funny and it's very real as well. The issues brought into it are very relevant to today - they are affecting people up and down the country. There are some epic scenes.
What's it like working with the director, Lia Williams?
Lia is a much-respected actress in her own right. I was so excited to talk to her about the play, because I am a huge
admirer of hers. Getting to work with her has been fantastic - she's worked with so many incredible people in the industry, and she can find a moment that you weren't aware of. It's been a lovely experience, and I've never done a one woman play before, so it's very unique.
What is it like working in the Playhouse Studio?
It's a very intimate studio space, which seats about 80-90 people - that is fantastic for the play. It's an intimate telling of a story, with an incredible atmospheric set. Hopefully for the audience that'll be an evocative experience. They are not separate from the action, they are involved.
Why should people come and see the play?
When i read the play I was so moved by it. I think the story is so honest - what this woman is going through and what she endeavours to tell has been written in such a way that I think it will move people. It is so involving and it's everything you could want from a theatrical experience.
What's next for you?
It's one foot in front of the other at the moment - it's all consuming. Before we started rehearsals we did a lot of research on the very real issues in it, and we were really eager to make the issues authentic. That has been quite immersing. It's a very small team and it doesn't leave much time for much else.
Who are your inspirations?
There are so many people who I can honestly say i am inspired by - especially the people I work with.
Finally, how do you feel to be involved in a world premiere?
I am immensely proud and honoured to have been given this opportunity.

Leanne Best was speaking to Rebecca Cohen.

The Match Box is at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio from 14 June - 7 July.

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