Interview with... Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain's LAURYN REDDING direct from London's West End

Barmy Britain

Lauryn Redding is an actress and musician currently starring in Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain at the Garrick Theatre, London alongside Benedict Martin. We had a quick chat with Lauryn to find out more about her and the show...

Hi Lauryn! We last caught up with you following your tour with Horrible Histories – Romans and Egyptians. What was that like?
It was a blast. We got to perform to fantastic audiences and spend time in many cities and towns. (some I’d never heard of!) Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work, but once I got into the swing of things it was second nature. Met some fabulous people, performed in amazing theatres and all in all, an irreplaceable experience.

What is your best memory from the Horrible Histories tour?
Hmmmm..The best memory would have to be performing in the York Grand Opera House. It was a personal conquer for me as York is my home town. Second best memory would have to be our sound guy falling in the river in Brecon! He was fine, but it kept us all laughing for weeks!

Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain in rehearsals
Lauryn Redding and Benedict Martin
What’s your role in Barmy Britain? Can you tell us a bit more about the show?
I am playing Queenie, a travelling player along with my fellow actor Benedict Martin who is playing Rex. The show is a two hander, it involves a lot of costume changes, a lot of props and A LOT of organised chaos! The show takes you throughout history, from the Romans through to World War 1 in 1 hour.. So as you can imagine, it’s a go go go!

Will it be touring at all?
As far as I know, there is currently no plan for a tour. We are currently based at the Garrick Theatre and won’t be moving for a while..we hope!

What have rehearsals been like preparing for Barmy Britain? 
The rehearsals have been a lot of fun! Which is how I think rehearsals should be. We only had a two week rehearsal period, but as me and Ben have both worked with the Horrible Histories shows before we had a bit of a head start. The rehearsals basically involved a lot of laughing, head rubbing and cups of tea.

Did you always plan on being an actress? What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t working on the stage?
I’d always wanted to be an actress. I remember when I was in year 3 at school we had to write what we wanted to be and I said Actress. I was told I should be a vet. Little did they know I’m allergic to cats and no good at science. So its probably a good job I went with my gut instinct! If I wasn’t an actor I really don’t know what I’d have done job wise. I’d like to have been a firewoman but I don’t like fire. Maybe a Marine biologist and live in the Maldives.

What plans have you got for 2012? Any other productions we might be able to catch you in?
No other productions lined up yet unfortunately, but I am hoping this show will open a few doors. Until then, I am going to enjoy every minute on that stage. London audiences are lovely!

Who is the biggest influence for your work?
Julie Walters and Victoria Wood are my absolute female inspirations. Their comic timing and characterisations are just exquisit. I am influenced by a long list of actors and performers, but for this specific show I’ve watched a lot of Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson is a comic gem.

What tips would you have for any young aspiring actors to get into theatre? 
Work hard, play hard(ish) and remember, there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. So stick at it and play on your individuality and personal strengths. There is after all, only one you! Oh, and if you ever feel dishearted ring your mum! (That’s what I do!)

Interview by Melissa Phillips

Dates: From Tuesday 14th February 2012
Times: Wednesday – Friday 1pm; Saturday 10.30am, 12 Noon; Sunday 3pm, 5pm
Press Performance: Friday 24th February, 1pm
Tickets: £14.50, £12.50 & £10
Box office: 0844 482 9673
Running time: 1 hour
Recommended age: 6+