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Interview with Laura Dalgleish and Georgina Leonidas

Georgina Leonidas (Stella), Ashley Cousins (Soot). Credit Mark Douet.
Georgina Leonidas (Stella), Ashley Cousins (Soot). Credit Mark Douet.

Birmingham Stage Company’s Horrible Histories – Horrible Christmas at Alexandra Palace from 13th to 30th December and Awful Auntie at Bloomsbury Theatre from 12th December 2018 to 5th January 2019.

Horrible Christmas, a hair-raising adventure through the history of Christmas, comes from the producers behind the Olivier award nominated Gangsta Granny and the celebrated Horrible Histories stage shows, including Barmy Britain in the West End. Awful Auntie arrives in London fresh from a fifteen month UK tour at the Bloomsbury Theatre following the venue’s major renovation. Adapted and directed by Neal Foster.

Laura Dalgleish plays multiple characters in Horrible Christmas and Georgina Leonidas plays Stella in Awful Auntie.

Laura Dalgleish and Georgina Leonidas answer a few questions about the two shows.

Georgina Leonidas
Q: Can you tell us about ‘Awful Auntie’ and what is at the heart of the production?
Georgina: The story is set in the great Saxby Hall, home to Stella and her parents. However, after a tragic car accident, Stella is orphaned and as the only heir is now the owner of the hall. Because of the accident, Stella has been in a coma and the play starts with her waking up months later learning that her Aunt Alberta has been taking care of her. However, Stella thinks it’s odd that her aunt seems intent on finding the deeds to the hall and decides she must escape and find help! What I love about the story is the close bonds and friendships made especially between Stella and Soot. Soot is a ghost, a chimney sweep, and she, as he calls her, a ‘posho’. But even though they are very aware that there is a class divide between them they don’t stop it letting them become friends. This is more important than they know! There could be a plot twist you might not see coming!

Q: Can you tell us about Stella?
Georgina: Stella is a real tough cookie!! Haha. The story is her journey of survival and even though she comes across many hurdles she never gives up. She has a strong moral compass and lets that guide her. I love that she also has a cheeky side brought out when playing tricks on Auntie. She is fun and mischievous as well as being intelligent and brave. I have a lot of fun playing her!

Q: Who should get along to see the show?
Georgina: Everyone! Haha. If you’ve read the books you really won’t be disappointed. And if you haven’t come along and be surprised! It’s a real family show and there is something for everyone. We’ve had such lovely feedback from parents to say they enjoyed the show as much as their kids! Even though the story has a slight gothic twist there’s lots of humour too. Also, the play is set in the days leading up to Christmas so what better time to come and watch!

Laura Dalgleish
Laura Dalgleish

Laura Dalgleish
Q: Can you tell us about Horrible Christmas and what is at the heart of the production?
Laura: Horrible Christmas is a riotous ride through the history of Christmas, visiting all the pivotal moments and historical characters, who made Christmas what it is today, including Charles Dickens, Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell and St Nicholas. It also brings to the fore all the festive fun and has great heart, as it deals with the hugely important part of Christmas, which is the importance of family, friends, and our connections to each other.

Q: Can you tell us about the character(s) that you play?
Laura: I play a plethora of characters from each historical period, including Katherine Howard who has such a good time she loses her head. I also love playing the Turkish bride who received the first-ever Christmas present from St Nicholas. I really enjoy the varieties of roles and having lots of fun with the audience, and get to be silly which is a great laugh at this time of year.

Q; Who should get along to see the show?
Laura: I always say this but these shows really are for all ages! Kids to grandparents come along and just have a blast. You can’t beat the infectious joy that Horrible Christmas brings. If ever there was a perfect family show that appeals to all ages then this is it! Come along and have a Merry Christmas!

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Laura Dalgleish plays Mum. Theatre credits includes Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest & Swallows & Amazons (Storyhouse House Theatre, Chester), Horrible Science and Horrible History (three national tours), George’s Marvellous Medicine (Cambridge Corn Exchange)

Georgina Leonidas plays Stella. Theatre credits includes The Small Hours (Theatre Royal Windsor), Black Coffee (UK Tour), That Face (Landor Theatre). Film credits include Katie Bell in the Harry Potter series.

Listings
Birmingham Stage Company and Derby Theatre present Horrible Christmas at
Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7BB
13 Dec 2018 – 30 Dec 2018

Birmingham Stage Company presents
AWFUL AUNTIE
Written and Directed by Neal Foster
Bloomsbury Theatre
15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH
12 December 2018 – 5 January 2019

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