Sunday, 1 November 2015

Jenna Russell keeps turning up...

Isn't it strange how some actors keep turning up in things you go to see? Jenna Russell is one of those actors for me. I was trying to think how many times I've seen her on stage so went a-googling and it seems I've seen her more times than I thought.

It turns out that the first time I saw her was in 'Guys & Dolls' opposite Ewan McGregor in 2006 - I'd forgotten that one. My real memories of Jenna begin in Studio 54 in New York when she played Dot in 'Sunday In The Park With George' with Daniel Evans as M Seurat.  I have the Playbill for that somewhere and still remember the enormous glasses of JD and coke.

I saw her in another Sondheim musical, 'Into The Woods' at Regents Park Open Air Theatre surrounded by trees swaying in the evening breeze. She played the Baker's Wife and jolly good she was too. It'l have to be an outstanding version of 'Into The Woods' to beat that production, set, as it was, in the woods. It also featured Michael Xavier as the Wolf and the Prince.

I saw her in yet another Sondheim musical at the Choccy Factory, 'Merrily We Roll Along'. It wasn't one of my favourite productions but she does good drunk with added vitriol. I also saw her in 'Songs for a New World' a fe months ago and really enjoyed that show (along with fellow 'Merrily' singer Damian Humbly). She moved effortlessly from singing comic songs to lip-trembly and tender romantic pieces.

The only non-singing role I've seen her in was in 'Di & Viv & Rose' in February this year at The Vaudeville. I loved that play and wish I'd seen it again before it closed (disappointingly early). Jenna played Rose, the one that pulls the other two together and who dies leaving them alone with their shared memories. She was funny and touching in that play.

I saw Jenna a couple of weeks ago in the audience for 'Xanadu' at Southwark Playhouse - it's nice to see an actor who likes to seeing other actors live. She clapped along and seemed to love it. I tweeted her afterwards about it and she replied - I was delighted! I'll be seeing her again at Southwark Playhouse in January when she's in 'Grey Gardens'. I'm not stalking you Jenna, honest!

1 comment:

Bill G said...

And of course, she sings the theme tune to "Red Dwarf.."