‘Backstage Chats…’ is a series of interviews with our drama heroes! From actors and directors to marketing peeps and crew, these conversations explore life behind the scenes of various drama related careers. We hope they inspire and motivate our Dramatis members in their own journeys to the stage!
This month, we spoke to musical actress extraordinaire Rosie Fletcher. Having trained at the prestigious Arts Education School, Rosie has gone on to perform in a variety of big name shows including Barnum, Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof. Dramatis recently had the pleasure of watching her in her latest role as one of the Fates in Hadestown at The National Theatre.
Dramatis: So, you’ve just been performing in Hadestown; amazing! What was that like for you? Do you just get used to these things as an actress or is each new job just as exciting?
Rosie: Oh it was amazing! I was actually at another audition when I got the call, I don’t think the makeup artist was too pleased, as I just started bawling my eyes out but yeah, it was incredible, and yes each new project is just as exciting, as its always so different. I mean of course different people, play etc etc but the process can be so different too. When I was in Wicked, there was very much a set way to do things, but it’s been so interesting on Hadestown going through your own creative process and the discoveries you make along the way.
Dramatis: So do you get a long time to rehearse a performance? And how do rehearsals start? We’re always fascinated with the process
Rosie: Yeah, it varies depending on the performance really, but we did have an especially long time to rehearse Hadestown. It was two months of workshopping but you know, it never feels long at the time. And as to how we start; it’s usually with a read through. However, the very first thing we did at Hadestown was to go around the studio discussing what we each wanted to be referred to in terms of pronouns which was really interesting.
Dramatis: Something I’m sure a lot of people wonder: what do you do if you’re in a bad mood that day? Or if something’s gone wrong? I mean how do you get your enthusiasm?!
Rosie: Hahaha, well it’s like any job I guess; after you’ve been doing it for so long you just learn to be professional and say “right this is a job I just have to switch it on” and that’s it really. I mean yeah it’s not easy of course, especially if you have one of those “meh” days but by the time you’re in the theatre, warming up, you pick up on everyone else vibes and you’re in the zone really.
Dramatis: Performing things over and over again…you must surely get bored? Does that affect your performance at all?
Rosie: well yes, it can happen especially if you have an ensemble role and you don’t do too much. Admittedly when I was in Fiddler on the Roof at Chichester Festival Theatre there was one time I forgot to come on! But these things happen, we’re human…even in theatre! But for the most part I just have to be professional and do what I’m paid to do, I mean let’s face it, there are a lot worse jobs you could have right? I’m very lucky.
Dramatis: When you were at the back of the stage in Hadestown miming; what do you say to each other? Are you really talking or just saying rhubarb rhubarb?!
Rosie: Hahah no, we do try to mostly stay in character but there have been occasions especially as it’s The National where you can really see the audience’s faces and get distracted for a second. We all do that thing we did when were children and look out for people we know which can be awkward when your mum’s sat there looking like she might fall asleep (!) but at least we don’t wave!
Dramatis: Finally, as we love to hear people’s stories when climbing the ladder to success… what’s the weirdest/ most embarrassing thing you’ve been asked to do in audition?
Rosie: Oh wow, loads really and there will be plenty more to come I’m sure, such is the life of an actress! But erm, let me think….oooh so many! Well not long ago I had to turn up to an audition in a swimming costume (don’t worry, it was just an advert for a phone!) but I ended up borrowing a friends costume, only to find that it had a thong back! I then had to go in and was asked to flirt with my imaginary boyfriend before jumping off a diving board and then imagine I was flying around in space! So there I was in this thong swimming costume not being able to see what I was doing in these goggles and just waving my arms vigorously as if in space. It was…slightly awks to say the least but you just roll with it!