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Interview Special: Ghost the Musical - Rebecca Trehearn



Backstage Pass were delighted to catch up with Ghost the Musical star Rebecca Trehearn recently.  Rebecca plays the iconic role of Molly Jensen in the show based on the 1990 film of the same name. Described as one of the most technically advanced shows on the touring circuit we caught up with Rebecca as the tour headed to Southhamptons Mayflower theatre.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Rebecca, we know youre very busy.
Ghost has been on the road for 6 months now, hows the tour going?                        
Its going really well thanks!  Its a funny thing, sustaining a show and a role like this long term; its arguably quite a specialised skill!  Its proven to be a balancing act of performance level vs endurance for me.  What Ive learned is that the performance you find early on in a run which initially feels like the right place to be, can eventually start to feel so comfortable that you push a little harder, until that starts to feel too easy and so on. It can become something of a vicious circle whereby youre suddenly killing yourself each night to try to find a performance level you dont realise youve long since surpassed, if that makes any sense!  Ive realised of late that I can afford to pull back a little without sacrificing any of the impact of the story or the character on the audience.  The primary challenge on a long run will always be keeping it fresh and in that sense, I feel very lucky to be working with this company; Stew, Dave and Wendy in particular.  Theyre wonderful to bounce off of every night and Ive never felt that weve gotten stuck in a rut performance wise, touch wood!
The film is very iconic, why do you think the story has such lasting appeal?          
 Aside from the fact that its a terrific story of almost Shakespearean proportions; what moved me when I saw the show and why it connects with audiences so deeply, I think, is because the experience of love and loss is so completely universal.  Were all going to go through it at some point in our lives and although in many ways, grief is the loneliest, most inexplicable experience youre ever likely to go through; seeing others experience it, their attempts to cope and move forward, can resonate at a really deep level.  I feel a real sense of responsibility to tell this story as truthfully and sincerely as I can, because I know from personal experience that the stories of others, whether real of fictional, can mean a huge amount to those undergoing similar loss.
Sam and Mollys story is heart-wrenching and the show is very emotional, is it difficult to go on that journey 8 times a week?                                                                               
Yep!  Again, Ive had to learn to pull back a little of late, for my own sanity as much as for anything else!  Its a testament to the writing though, that no matter how much of a mountain it can feel you have to climb at the start of the show, as soon as we get started I find myself swept away by the story and its rarely difficult for me to get to where Molly is by the end of the show. 
You've played Molly on the West End and now on the first national tour, is it a hard show to leave behind you at the stage door?                                                                  
Aside from the odd occasion, Im pretty good at leaving it behind me at the end of the night.  Its a peculiar job that requires you to dwell on all the things that make you terribly sad eight times a week!  I suppose it can impact on my mood sometimes without my necessarily being completely aware of it.  I will say however, that I think the shows going to be incredibly hard to leave behind at the end of the run.  Its certainly the role thats meant the most to me in my career so far.  Ive never felt any real desire to return to a show Ive already been in, but I did feel that I wasnt quite done with Molly when we closed in the West End, so I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to return to the role full time.
Molly spends the majority of the show completely grief-stricken. Your portrayal of her is so compelling, how do you keep your energy levels up especially on two show days?                                           
Chocolate?!  Seriously, I dont know!  We all really have to look after ourselves on this job as its knackering for all involved and two show days are admittedly a killer.  I chill out in my dressing room in between shows most of the time, read a book, whatever.  Ive found having a nap to be fatal, as its incredibly difficult to drag your energy levels back up again!  Plenty of rest, healthy food, moderate excercise and minimal booze outside of work seems to be the way to go.  Ive never been so dull in my life!
Sam [Stewart Clarke] is invisible to you for most of the show, how challenging is it as a performer to have to ignore someone on stage right in front of you?                 
Initially it was strange but were all completely used to it by now.  Stewarts rarely directly in my eyeline once hes dead, which is helpful!  The only time it gets difficult is when hes feeling mischievous and decides to subtly make his presence felt!
Whats your favourite part of the show?                                                                    
Probably the first scene, simply because its the only time I get to have any fun!  I do love the last scene also; both for the catharsis Sam and Molly finally get and because we can sense the effect the final moments have on the audience.  Its incredibly satisfying to hear people sniffling away, always makes me feel like weve done our job well!
Being on tour and visiting new towns every few weeks, what's the best way you and the cast have found to get to know a new place?                                                
Usually the advice of others, whether locals or other company members.  A lot of our company have toured before so theyre often a good place to start.  Otherwise, google is a wonderful thing!  Just getting out and about and exploring a city on foot is the best way to do it, I think.
When did you catch the acting bug and what led you to musical theatre in particular? 
Very young; I started competing as a singer as an eight year old and joined my local am dram soon after.  I guess I was obsessed with music and its role in telling a story from a young age; Id sit and watch musical films over and over again.  Music connected with me in a way that I felt deeply but didnt understand as a child.  I dont know many kids who were as fascinated by the concept of harmony as I was.  I suppose I love working in musical theatre because it allows me to combine my love of singing with my love of acting.  Ive always been far more comfortable singing as a character in a show than as myself.
You've already played some fantastic roles are there any you would like to revisit or any roles youve seen recently that really caught your imagination?                                
I really enjoyed understudying and playing Rose in Aspects of Love; I suppose if there was any role Id like to go back to and explore further, it would be that one.  As far as recent roles go; Id cut off an arm to play the girl in Once.  I love that show and I find her such an intriguing character.
If you weren't in musical theatre, what would you see yourself doing instead?            
No idea.  That question keeps me awake at night!  Possibly something to do with the English language and/or literature, but what exactly, I have no idea.  Im hoping people keep employing me as an actress and I never have to find out!

Thanks for your time and good luck with the rest of the tour!
Read our interview with Stewart Clarke who plays Sam Wheat here

To find out more about Rebecca visit www.rebeccatrehearn.com
For tickets and information about Ghost the Musical visit www.ghostthemusical.com 

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