With Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) running at the West End’s Criterion Theatre, Christina Gordon is part of the cast, and the show is currently booking until April 2022. Christina has been part of the cast of the show both at Glasgow Tron and the UK Tour and, amongst her other productions, she has worked on The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, and Witness for the Prosecution. Since training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Christina has worked extensively in Scotland and she also has screen and radio experience. Answering our questions, Christina talks about being in the cast of Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of), performing in the West End and some of her highlights from working in theatre.
Can you tell us about the show Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) and how is it being part of the cast?
The show is an adaptation of the Jane Austen book, telling the story from the viewpoint of the servants of the household. We’re a cast of five women multi-roling all the parts, playing big and hilarious characters, so it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun!
How are finding performing in the West End and how has it been seeing the reviews to the play’s opening at the Criterion Theatre?
Performing in the West End is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was wee, so to be performing with my best pals, sharing what we created back in Glasgow, and for people to be enjoying it is just absolutely amazing. But most of all, after the last 18 months where our entire industry was left hanging by a thread, to be able to come back and perform to an audience again is something I will never be taking for granted ever again.
Having previously been in the show at Glasgow Tron and on the UK Tour, was there anything that originally drew you to the production?
I think definitely the fact that it was an all-female cast was a huge draw as it is still something we don’t see very often – certainly it was something I had never been involved with before. But also the chance to do a comedy and getting to play a wide spectrum of hilarious and absolutely bonkers characters was so much fun to do.
Do you remember how you felt reading the script and getting into character for the first time?
I remember crying with laughter at the opening scene, and then again at the end because of how moving it was. I was also seriously worried about how I was going to get through the show without laughing because I am terrible at corpsing.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being part of Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) and what are you looking forward to for the rest of the run in London?
I think what I enjoy most is the joy and the heart of the show. I think theatre should be a great night out, so to go out every show and feel the joy and energy coming off the audience, who probably expected something Jane Austen to be very stuffy and bookish, is really brilliant to be a part of.
Why would you recommend seeing the show which is currently booking until April 2022?
Because you’re guaranteed to have a laugh and a fun night out which is a human experience we’ve all had to be starved of in the last 18 months.
Can you tell us about some of the other theatre work you’ve been involved with which has included Witness for the Prosecution and Rocket Post?
Being based in Scotland, I’ve been lucky enough to do a wide range of theatre work, from main house shows at the Lyceum in Edinburgh, to touring town halls in remote parts of the Highlands and Islands performing for local communities. Almost all of my work has involved music in some way, either with singing or playing instruments, which I always love to do.
What are some of your highlights from working in theatre over your career so far?
My first ever job out of a drama school was a Graduate scheme at Dundee Rep Theatre, and I was lucky enough to be in the new production of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil by John McGrath. This play is an absolute staple of Scottish theatre, and indeed Scottish history, so to be involved in it meant a huge deal to me.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
My love of performing is definitely rooted in my family – my grandad was a performer, and so music, theatre and performing have been surrounding me from when I was a wee girl. I was also very lucky that my school had an amazing music and drama department, and so I was getting involved in school shows and am-dram productions from a very early age!
Was there anything that encouraged you to train at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and can you say about your time there?
The actor-musicianship part of the Musical Theatre course was a huge draw for me to RCS, as I had no idea that it could be something I could incorporate into my training but knew that music was a huge part of me and what I wanted to be involved with in my career.
Do you have any favourite theatre shows to watch?
I have a huge long list of musicals that I want to see while I’m in London – Hamilton being at the top.
You’ve got screen and radio experience, how different do you find working on these opposed to theatre?
I find working in radio and screen very different – in theatre you are so completely in the moment, and your challenge is to deal with whatever may come your way on stage, whether it be something going wrong, someone’s phone going off, anything. And whatever it is, you’re in that shared experience with the audience and are going through a character’s journey together. Whereas in film or radio, you are just a tiny part of the whole machine that goes into the finished product, and you don’t really know what the outcome will be for a period of time until it’s complete. So as much as I love the pressure and anticipation of working on something but not necessarily knowing what it will be like straight away, my heart definitely lies with theatre and the live-ness of it all.
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