Welcome back my frosty friends!
I don't know if you've heard, but we're producing a little old winter show in partnership with The Dukes and supported by Arts Council England...
(It's The Snow Queen, jeez, where have you been?)
But before our snowy, shadowy, Christmas offering gets underway, we'd like to introduce you to the tree-mendous cast and crew that made it all possible, addressing hard-hitting questions such as 'what's your favourite Christmas film?' and 'if you had a superpower, what would it be?' Real gritty stuff.
Next, we have Emily Millington and Joyce Branagh. Take it away ladies!
Who are you - tell us a bit about yourself!
Emily: I’m Emily! I’m currently living in Manchester! I can usually be found eating copious amounts of pizza, and binging awful reality shows on Netflix!
Joyce: I'm Joyce Branagh - I'm an Actor, Writer and Director, based in West Yorkshire.
Who do you play in 3LF's The Snow Queen and how would you describe your role(s)?
Emily: I play the Clever Princess and Tulip, as well some singy bits for the forget-me-nots! The Clever Princess is of course very clever and witty, though she doesn’t boast as much as her husband. When choosing a husband, she doesn’t just want any old man who agrees with all she’s says but someone who challenges her! She clearly cares for Gerda and wants her to succeed on her quest! I love that she almost takes on a sisterly role, making sure that Gerda is well fed and rested. Underneath all the pomp and wit, I think she has a heart of gold! Tulip on the other hand is much more mischievous, in fact she purposely tries to lead Gerda astray! I loved voicing Tulip, it was really fun to be so cheeky!
Joyce: I play Mormor who is Gerda's grannie - she's a bit cheeky, likes a sneaky drink, and loves to tell tales of the old days... She knows ALL about the Snow Queen. I also play one of the Forget-me-not flowers - they help Gerda when she has lost her way.
What's the reason you got involved with theatre?
Joyce: No-one in my family had ever done a job in the theatre - we didn't know anyone, and we didn't go to see any theatre. BUT my older brother had a very enthusiastic drama teacher and so he got in to acting, went to drama school, and then I went to see him in shows. I still didn't think it was something I'd do as a job... but when I went to university, I joined the drama society and did a little bit of directing... and got hooked.
What was your first acting role?
Emily: My first acting role that I can remember was Tessie in Annie! I was so young I don’t remember much of that show, but I do remember annoying everyone with her catchphrase “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!”
What is the best part of your job?
Joyce: The best part of my job is getting to mess about in rehearsal rooms with other silly people.
What is your favourite show that you have seen?
Emily: My favourite show I’ve seen is the musical Gypsy at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. It was a minimal set and a small cast, but honestly that made it. The direction, acting and choreography was incredible, and I couldn’t stop thinking about for weeks! I love the character of Mama Rose and love watching the actress portray her.
What's going to surprise people about this show?
Joyce: The beauty of the puppets.
Without wild spoilers, tell us one of your favourite lines.
Emily: “I apologise for my husband's behaviour. He's new, and possibly temporary.” I love this line; I think it epitomises what the Clever Princess is all about!
Why did you want to get involved with The Snow Queen?
Emily: I wanted to get involved with this production of The Snow Queen for so many reasons! Firstly, I think adapting the novel as a Shadow Puppet show is genius and is perfect for Christmas! I have been admiring 3LF’s work for a while, so jumped at a chance to work with them! I think producing creative work for and in the North is so important. Often it can seem that theatre and creative work is dominated by the south and London in particular, so for them to provide creative opportunities for artists in the North is amazing and will do so much good. To be a small part of that is awesome and I’m very thankful!
Joyce: I like putting on lots of silly voices - and really enjoyed playing with the audition characters.
What's your favourite Christmas story/film, and why?
Emily: Elf hands down. I never feel like the Christmas season has really begun until I’ve watched it!
Joyce: It's a Wonderful Life. It makes me cry - in a good way.
What are your favourite Christmas traditions?
Emily: Honestly and boringly, giving into the food and wine induced coma and falling asleep to whatever new DVD someone has gotten this year. There’s really nothing better than a Christmas day snooze on the sofa after a mountain of roast potatoes!
Did you ever take part in winter plays/nativities at school – who did you play?
Joyce: One of the Three Wise Men - I brought Frankincense (which I don't know how to spell...)
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Emily: With a kiss of course! Or boiled…or fried…or poached…or scrabbled. Man, I just really love eggs haha!
If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
Joyce: Billy Bragg. I like him a lot, and would love to sing with him, though he's possibly a worse singer than me. (Perhaps because of that).
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Emily: Definitely teleportation. I would never have to wait for another bus or train again! Plus you’d reduce your carbon footprint which is never a bad thing!
If you could pick a theme song to describe you right now, what song would you choose?
Joyce: 'I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in'.