Spotlight On… Writer, Director and Star of Blast From The Past, Anna-Lisa Maree

Blast From The Past is written  and directed by Anna-Lisa Maree. It is part of Camden Fringe and will be staged at Upstairs At The Gatehouse 16th – 19th August 2016.

Book tickets here:

Anna-Lisa is a talented Writer, Director and an absolutely stunning actress. This is the hat-trick ‘Spotlight On…’ feature for this hard-working girl, and it’s my pleasure to bring you her latest interview to promote her stellar show, Blast From The Past.

Thank you for joining Break A Leg for another interview, Anna-Lisa. So, Blast From The Past is back, with its own run as part of Camden Fringe, what will be different this time in comparison to its maiden voyage at the London Short Play Festival, last year?

The storyline remains the same aside from the fact that the older brother, Nathan now impersonates Cher instead of Alanis Morisette!

I also had to extend the show by half an hour so there are a number of new characters including Lola Playfoot, proprietor of Blackpool’s leading swinger’s hotel, Melanie Cropper, the ultimate Bridezilla and the infamous Mystical Maureen (who used to have a booth on the South Shore until the police shut her down) finally appears in the flesh!

Are there any cast changes?

To quote one of my favourite song lyrics ‘Everything has its season, everything has its time’ – yes there have been cast changes but that is the nature of the business. Judy Buxton will be reprising her role as Julie Tate and I am delighted to welcome on board Anthony Kavanagh, Felicity Dean, Richard Rhodes and Andrew Irvine.

I also have a wonderful multi-talented creative team, Luke Johnson, Charlotte Gorton and Georgia-May Matthews.

You’re making an appearance in it as well as having written it and you’re also the director, do you differentiate between these roles or do they all mingle together?

As a writer I try to give each character naturalistic dialogue with a definite rhythm and tone. However I am always open to other people’s opinions of how improvements can be made. The one aspect of this production that I am truly precious over is the final scene as it is imperative that all tenses used are correct. It is vital for the storytelling that past and present is clearly defined. Although the roles I play are key to the structure of the play they are intentionally small so I can focus on directing. I am also blessed to have an amazing Wingman (Luke Johnson) not only is he a Technical and Stage Management Whizz but he also serves as my third eye in the rehearsal room.

Tell me about the role(s) that you play.

I play two characters Nicole Cox and Kelly-Louise Tate; Nicole is a Liverpudlian beautician who (in 1999) rents one of Julie’s holiday flats and works at Nathan’s salon. She’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier but many of her innocent comments provide much food for thought. Kelly-Lou makes an appearance in the penultimate scene when the action returns to 30th April 2016. She’s the little sister of Nathan and Danny who is constantly referred to but never seen in the flashbacks. We finally get to see her all grown up but there’s definitely no mistaking that she’s a Tate and plays a key role in establishing the progression of time.

Finally, sell the show to me, why should theatre-goers buy a ticket and come to see Blast From The Past?

With a cast that includes a genuine 90s Popstar, a sensational drag artiste and two critically acclaimed actresses need I say more? Well okay – just a little bit!  It’s a chance to re-live (or learn about) all that was lovely and all that was loathsome about the late 90s and it is also a huge education into many areas of people’s everyday life that so many people live in blissful ignorance of. However, it is ultimately a reminder not to judge others until you have walked a mile in their stilettos and to live the life you love because after all none of us are going to get out of this crazy world alive!

Break A Leg wish the whole cast of Blast From The Past a blast of a time and all the luck in the world to Anna-Lisa, you need to see her work to believe her capabilities.


Photo credit: Simon Annand.


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