With Come From Away opening in Dublin in 2018, Jenna Boyd was cast as Beulah and others, and transferred with the show when it opened at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End the following year and had been continuing in the role when theatres closed due to the current pandemic. Prior to Come From Away, Jenna had played roles such as Lily in Love on the Links at Salisbury Playhouse, Mrs Hedgehog and Gaoler’s Daughter in the world premiere of The Wind in the Willows, which was filmed live at the London Palladium and recently streamed online for free and has been involved with the stage productions and 2012 film of Les Misérables. Chatting with Jenna, she tells us about being in the cast of Come From Away, playing Lily in Love on the Links and being in the world premiere of The Wind in the Willows.
How is it playing Beulah and others in Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre?
It is a dream role! I only saw the “joke” throughout the audition process so I had no clue what a brilliant character I was being asked to play. Once I read the script I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
How was it having the musical open at Dublin before heading to the West End?
It was great – gave us some much needed time to find the show in a truly supportive environment.
Do you remember how you felt telling the story on stage for the first time and attending the Olivier Awards last year?
The first time we told that story was in the rehearsal room for an invited audience and, to be honest, it was so overwhelming. The Oliviers, performing on that stage on that night, is one of the proudest moments of my career.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the production?
There isn’t one particular thing… all of it! I love all of it!
Can you tell us about playing Lily in Love on the Links at Salisbury Playhouse?
What a role!!! This was a cracking play with such an amazing company. We played for four weeks and came up with the silliest and the best ways to story tell! I would do it again in a heartbeat!
You were in My Fair Lady at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, how was this?
It was brilliant! I got to go to Naples for six weeks and I got to be in a beautiful production of My Fair Lady and to top it off, this is where I first met Rob Hands and Harry Morrison.
What was The Wind in the Willows like to be cast in on the UK Tour and at the London Palladium?
The music on this show was an utter dream for me! I had some lovely songs in this show so to be with it for two productions was a real treat! And I got married to James Gant again!
The show was released in cinemas, how was it having the show filmed by BroadwayHD?
I loved this process and to know a piece of my work has been recorded for all time has a special place in my heart.
Having been involved with a few Les Misérables productions, what is it like to do?
It’s THE show! I did it in town for two years and learnt so much! I also think it was the making of my voice in terms of stamina. The film will always be up there with the best jobs I’ll ever do. When I was a child, I didn’t know theatre and only saw musicals on film so that was what I thought I would do when I grew up so it really was a dream come true.
When and how did you get into theatre and had you always wanted an acting career?
Oh, this is always such a boring answer from me… honestly, I was just born this way! Haha.
Are there any theatre shows you would like to see but haven’t done so as yet and what are some of your favourites?
There is just so, so much I haven’t seen! Don’t judge me! The problem, of course, is that being an actor you are often on stage at the same time as the other shows! But I booked to see SIX in December (COVID-willing), I also want to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and & Juliet.
What would you say is the best aspect of your career?
That I’m still doing it and have every intention to continue to do it for the rest of my life.
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