February’s Spotlight On……
*** Tracey Childs ***
Can you tell us about your new permanent role at the Mercury Theatre and what it was that attracted you to it?
I love Colchester Mercury Theatre – it was the first theatre I visited when I moved to Essex, it was the first theatre I ever did a co-production with as a producer (Haunting Julia) and it was the first theatre where I was recruited to serve on the board so – when the producer role was advertised I knew I had to apply.
I hadn’t been looking for a permanent job but it felt like such a perfect fit that I was prepared to relinquish being an independent producer and a freelance actor. Now I have discovered the joy of getting paid regularly and having weekends (almost) off – bliss!
Does this mean that you’ve effectively ‘given up’ acting or are you of the opinion ‘never say never’?
I love producing, being proactive and making things happen (rather than waiting for the phone to ring) but never say never. The joy of my current position is that acting is now just fun for me. I occasionally do voice overs or Big Finish Dr Who audio plays or, in April I’m going to the Isle of Wight to do a poetry evening with 3 girlfriends, all of which are great fun and stop me missing acting. However, producing is absolutely my priority.
If you were to consider acting again, would there be a particular role or show which would force your arm towards that direction?
Curiously, my greatest ‘must play role’ was always Lady Macbeth and what was the show playing in the Main House when I joined The Mercury? Macbeth! I can honestly say I was too busy relishing my new Producer role here to spend a second thinking ‘what if…’ Therefore I am not sure what would tempt me back. I never expected to find anything I loved as much as acting but actually I find producing far more fulfilling. Lucky me!
Can we expect anymore productions from ‘Hall & Childs’ in the future?
Andrew and I are currently taking ‘a deep breath’ but watch this space, there will be more to come, I’m sure.
Which current theatrical production would you recommend that all our readers must go and see?
‘Sweeney Todd in Harringtons Pie and Mash shop’ I saw it at Tooting and LOVED it. I am so proud to be Associate Producer on this transfer to a restaurant pop-up on Shaftesbury Avenue. The joy of this talented cast standing on your table singing their hearts out is so exhilarating.
Favourite things (quick fire questions):
The Hired Man to listen to, Chicago to watch and High Society to appear in – Tracy Lord was one of my favourite roles ever – and yes, I know that’s three. I’m greedy, sorry.
Matthew Kelly – has to be. We’ve worked together and played husband and wife umpteen times and it is always a delight. To know and love someone so well that on the first day of rehearsal you can say ‘OK, let’s go for it, you hit me and I’ll spit on you’ is very comforting!
Favourite food? (e.g. Italian, Chinese…)
FOOD! All food! I told you, I am a very greedy woman but, if I had to choose one then, Italian because it encompasses so many different choices.
Too hard to choose. I had always had dogs but, when I started working too much to own one, my husband bought me a huge rabbit hutch that has been filled with rescue bunnies until the last one died last week – I am missing them like hell but last summer I discovered the joy of kittens and currently our rescue brother and sister tabbies ‘Mr Spats’ and ‘Lulu’ are filling our lives with joy.
Favourite Doctor Who?
I grew up with Jon Pertwee but I would have to say Matt Smith – I think he was glorious – I am also loving seeing ‘my husband’ Peter Capaldi now playing the role and suspect he may become joint first VERY soon.