How stagey are you? Carley Stenson vs Noel Sullivan

Our search for the king or queen of staginess continues with this pair of scoundrels

Carley Stenson

Carley found fame playing Steph Cunningham in the Channel 4 series Hollyoaks.

Her theatre credits include Shrek, Legally Blonde and Spamalot.

Carley is currently playing Christine Colgate in the UK tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Noel Sullivan

Former Hear'Say star Noel Sullivan began life as a chorister and understudied for the Welsh National Opera.

His theatre credits include We Will Rock You, Grease and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

He is currently appearing as Freddy Benson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

What was the last show you went to see?

I went with my lovely friend Noel to see Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown a couple of weeks ago. 1

I went to see Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown two weeks ago. I went with Carley! 1

How many showtunes do you have on your iPod and what is your favourite?

I do have quite a lot! Just from auditions, you have to download the album so you can get a feel of the songs they want you to sing. Obviously I’ve got Les Mis on there. And I do have a lot of Glee on there. 1

I have far too many showtunes to mention. I like the classics like Little Shop of Horrors. Also, I’m a sucker for Rent, I know that’s old school but I’m of that generation. 1

What is the stagiest picture you have in your phone?

My friend Robbie came to visit me in Shrek and put on my tiara and dress. That’s quite stagey! 1

It’s the 10th anniversary of We Will Rock You and I’m stood in between Robert de Niro and Kevin Kennedy. 1

Who is the stagiest contact you have in your phone?

Jerry Mitchell! 1

I’ve got Charlotte Church. Top that Stenson! 0 [Impressive but not really stagey]

How many of the Strallen sisters can you name?

Scarlett, Summer, Zizi…. Can I count Bonnie Langford?…. Ooh! Sasi. 1

Zizi, Summer, Sasi and ermm….. [10 minutes later]… It’s SCARLETT! 1

What is your favourite Shakespeare quote?

Can I just say the whole of Much Ado About Nothing? I love that one. 0 [No, no you can’t]

'Brevity is the soul of wit.' – Hamlet. 1

Do you have any theatrical superstitions?

Not really, because I’ve had OCD really badly and I had to drum it out of myself. Break a leg and don’t whistle and all that stuff. 0

Just standard ones; always say the Scottish play, don’t whistle on stage, never say good luck. I’m a sucker for the old ones, I haven’t got any weird ones. 0

Who would be your ideal dinner date?

My idol is Gene Kelly so I would have loved to have met him. But they do say there’s something about not meeting your idol though don’t they? 1

I’m going to go for Liza Minelli. It would just be interesting to watch her eat. 1

Tell us a stagey joke

I’ve got a funny story. It wasn’t me, it happened to my boyfriend (Danny Mac). When he was in Wicked they had these massive egg heads, you had to step into the costume and zip it round the waist. He had to run on stage with this pole he was holding to keep the head up. As he ran on stage and jumped and landed with his back to the audience, the bottom half fell down and he only had little gold hotpants on, he had to run off stage effectively with his pants down! 0 [It’s funny but it’s not a joke]

I’m gonna make one up for you: Why was Stanislavski hungry? Because he skipped Brechtfast. 1

What is your earliest theatrical memory?

I was in ballet since the age of three and remember having exams on stage. I was in Hollyoaks for quite a while, so theatre fizzled away a bit. Then my friends took me to see Beauty and the Beast and I remember crying thinking ‘this is what I want to do.' 1

I got a part in a WNO production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande when I was 12, we performed at the Hippodrome in Birmingham and then over at the Paris Châtelet. That was pretty stagey! 1 [Oui, Oui]

And the winner is…


Carley gets off to a good start with some impressive showtunes banter but is let down by her Shakespearean knowledge and OCD. 7 points puts her level with Louise Dearman in the Stagey League Table.


Noel takes the round with an impressive 8 points putting him level with Gerard McCarthy and Michael Xavier in the league table. The level of staginess required to make up a theatrical joke deserves a standing ovation.

Coming up next week: Drew McOnie vs Charlotte Wakefield

Stagey League Table

1. Jenna Russell

9 points

2. Kerry Ellis

8.5 points

=3. Gerard McCarthy

8 points

=3. Noel Sullivan

8 points

=3. Michael Xavier

8 points

6. Louise Dearman

7 points

=6. Carley Stenson

7 points

8. Charlie Brooks

6.5 points

9. Catrin Stewart

6 points

10. Matthew Kelly

4 points