PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: The Winslow Boy Star Charlotte Parry

By Matthew Blank
05 Nov 2013

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: When I realized I didn't have an academic bone in my body. And that I liked to try cheering up my family by making them laugh.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where) Green symphony. Though there's only so much tofu a girl can eat. Otherwise Joe Allen's.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Robinson's orange squash
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I'm a bit wanky. I do warm up properly, even though in Britain it's terribly uncool. I always have to sing "Danny Boy" at the end.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Several- one of which was the large foot-long sheet of toilet paper I brought onstage (attached to my foot) at the beginning of Act 2 of Earnest. It floated about the rose bushes for the rest of the play.
Worst costume ever: As Lavinia I was naked but for Saran wrap in a production of Titus Andronicus after returning from being raped by Chiron and Demetrius. I was wrapped up so tightly with so much fake blood that you couldn't see anything naughty though.
Worst job you ever had: The Disney store in Oxford. I lasted two weeks.
Craziest audition story: Probably the one for Winslow Boy! In the annex of a library in Covent Garden Hotel that looked like something out of "Downton Abbey" on a Sunday afternoon.

I left thinking, "If I get that job I'll eat my cat." My friend Will who was in the room as my reader took me to get drunk in Regents Park and told me, "Sweetheart, there's not a hope in hell's chance you booked that."

What drew you to this project? Working with this cast, this director (Lyndsay Posner), this brilliant play, the Roundabout, the beautiful role.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? It's a little like doing Shakespeare meets Chekhov. The music and clarity of the language are so important, while filling in the complex and unpredictable emotional life of all these wonderfully full characters. So, I guess, how to do it justice?

Oh- and dancing and speaking at the same time.

Most challenging role you have played onstage: Shazza in Rainbow Kiss at The Play Company was a real challenge, as I just had to let go of all my inhibitions.
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Can I have more than one?

Rosalind in As You Like It
Rita in Educating Rita
Most of those strong Shakespearean women
Yelena in Uncle Vanya
Masha in Three Sisters
Almost anything by Mike Leigh
After Miss Julie
Oh- and still Juliet

To name a few
Leading man role you wish you could play: Hamlet
Something about you that surprises people: I'm actually as much American as I am British- one parent of each.
Career you would want if not a performer: I'd like to open and work in a little tea shop that made beautiful cakes and chocolates. By the sea.
Three things you can't live without: My friends
Good British tea
Cats (the real thing, not the musical)
"I'll never understand why…" 1. … people throw rubbish on the ground when there's a bin on every corner.

2. … whenever I make plans, God has a better idea.

Words of advice for aspiring performers: Work really hard. Put in your time. Give it time. Have an escape.