Talent show comedy at Sheffield Crucible takes leading actress back to her roots

Actress Lucie Shorthouse says she experienced a sense of destiny when rehearsing for her latest production.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 1:44 pm
Lucie Shorthouse plays Julie in Talent at Sheffield Crucible.
Lucie Shorthouse plays Julie in Talent at Sheffield Crucible.

In Victoria Woods’ comedy play Talent, Lucie plays a single mum called Julie dreaming of fame and fortune as she enters a club’s competition.

Lucie said: “Initially I felt some sense of kismet with the role: to support myself throughout drama school I would sing in working men’s clubs and social clubs to earn money. I grew accustomed to the characters and beautiful spirits, but also to the grottier side of the glamour.

"I also entered talent contests and endured the rejection, comparison and performativity of those things. Clubland is unfortunately a waning tradition so it’s been wonderful to relive it and embrace its spark and identity.

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"I’ve started to realise how much I am like Julie throughout the process - the kind of frantic, flustered, laser focus that pressure brings is not unlike me! And again her resilience, I like to think I share that.”

Talent, which is running at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from June 30 to July 24, 2021, is set in the late 70s. Lucie said: “it’s about the pursuit of dreams and the courage to break out of mundanity. I think the show also speaks of the resilience of women of that time and indeed now, 43 years after it was set. Wood observed so acutely the complexities of womanhood and the trials, titillations and indeed tribulations that existed then and still do now.

"It’s such a privilege to be working on this production - it’s warm, witty, full of heart, but also offers illuminating social commentary that still stands today. After the year we’ve had, having a socially distanced and well sanctioned team together again has been joyous. Sheffield Theatres have worked tirelessly to facilitate this production and to be performing the genius of Victoria Wood seems extra special considering this period of isolation. Her comedy was always so unifying.”

Tickets for Talent are priced from £15, go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

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