Characters, Cakes & Agatha Christie – with Rachel Bright

As a well-known EastEnders actress and popular baking blogger Rachel Bright is living proof – you can, it turns out, have your cake and eat it too. Her latest role on stage as Julia Simmons in the UK tour of A Murder Is Announced brings her to the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon from Tue 12 – Sat 16 April. Excited to find out more, we caught up with Rachel for a chat about characters, cakes and Agatha Christie…

 

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As an actress you’re perhaps best known for playing Poppy Meadow in EastEnders. What was that experience like & how has it help shape you as a performer?

EastEnders was such a whirlwind experience and totally invaluable. It made me great at learning lines quickly and working at a quick pace and I met some incredible and talented people. An experience I’ll never forget!

Who were your favourite actors while growing up?

It never occurred to me to be an actor when I was growing up, so in away, I was a bit oblivious to some of the greats. However, I always loved Tim Burton and fell a bit in love with Christina Ricci, so cool and so natural.

We’re excited to welcome you to the Wyvern Theatre in April for Agatha Christie’s ‘A Murder Is Announced’. Without any spoilers, what can you tell us about the play?

An announcement in the local paper suggests a murder will take place at our address that evening. Is it a joke? Is it for real? Will there be a victim and if so who will it be? Set in one large living room – a series of secrets begin to reveal themselves…

 

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“Watch and read and listen to as much as possible – your imagination is your skill.”

 

How would you describe your character in A Murder Is Announced?

Sassy. She’s cool, she’s bored and she’s out for a good time.

You’re not the only performer in A Murder Is Announced to have a background in television work. What has it been like to work with Judy Cornwell (Keeping Up Appearances), Diane Fletcher (House of Cards) and Tom Butcher (The Bill, Doctors)?

I feel so lucky to work with such talented folk! The three you have mentioned have so much experience, in many different things and it’s great to learn, listen and perform with them. They are also hilarious – which makes touring with them such fun.

 

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From your perspective are there many differences between acting on screen and for the stage?

For me, they are two completely different jobs…! Apart from the obvious, which is inhabiting a character, the mediums require such different skills so it’s great to be able to flit between the two!

As well as an actress you’re also an accomplished baker! How did that come about and where can we find out more?

Accomplished…why thank you 🙂 It came just from a love of baking which I often did in my spare time and used to bake for the EastEnders guys. When I left the show I started a blog – as a way of compiling all the recipes and it’s grown since then. Take a look: www.bakingbright.com. It’s a mixture of indulgent and luxurious bakes to healthy/freefrom baking – so something for everyone!

Finally, any advice for aspiring actors out there?

Watch and read and listen to as much as possible – your imagination is your skill.

 

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Many thanks to Rachel, we look forward to welcoming the whole cast of Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced to the Wyvern Theatre very soon. For more information about the show visit the Swindon Theatres website.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @Rach_Bright

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