From Fun Home to Waitress, from Next to Normal to Finding Neverland - it's always fun collating the various rumours flying around theatreland. After a very busy...
Briefly tell us how you became involved with "Great Expectations".
I was sent the script of Jo Clifford's adaptation, and I was immediately hooked-it's excellent.
Briefly tell us about the character that you play in "Great Expectations".
Miss Havisham had her heart broken on her wedding day many years ago when she was jilted at the altar by her cruel lover. She adopts a baby girl whom she trains to wreak revenge on men.
What was your first stage performance?
At school I played Mrs Malaprop in 'The Rivals' by Richard Sheridan.
What is your career highlight to date?
Playing Miss Havisham.
What roles would you most like to play?
Just want to be sent scripts with a nice juicy part for me!
What's the best advice you've ever received?
My mother used to say 'You can't do better than your best.'
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Mercifully, I've forgotten.
What is the most annoying part about your job?
No work for a month or two, then 2 jobs come along and the dates clash!
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I loved languages at school, so I might have studied to become an interpreter.
Favourite after-show haunts.
Le Caprice, Two Brydges.
Who are your favourite actors/actresses
I love Helen Mirren's work, and Geraldine James is another favourite. John Hawkes is an actor I’m learning to admire. His performances in two recent films, ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ and ‘The Sessions’ are brilliant and entirely different.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Emmeline Pankhurst, who was born in Manchester, as I was, and played an important part in the fight to get votes for women. "Thank you."
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors?
I’ve just finished reading A Trick I Learned From Dead Men by Kitty Aldridge, whose work as an actress I admire and now I know she’s a talented writer too. Favourite authors include Michael Frayn and Alan Bennett, because they both make me laugh and cry: often at the same time.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
Life Of Pi was the last one I saw and loved. Favourites include Brief Encounter, Gone With The Wind and Meet Me In St Louis; yes, they all make me cry.
Favourite TV programs?
Some are Mad Men, Have I Got News For You?, Twenty Twelve.
Favourite holiday destinations?
Anywhere warm and sunny.
What are your future plans?
The third series of Mount Pleasant for Sky Living. I play Pauline, embarrassing mother of Dan Ryan and adoring wife of David Bradley.