Elaine C. Smith is a Scottish legend, and a regular visitor to HMT, and this month she's back with Fat Friends. She took some time out of her busy shecdule to talk to answer some questions about the show and about her time in Aberdeen.
How does it feel to be returning to HMT?
Actually feel quite emotional coming back- I realised I haven’t been back in Aberdeen since I finished in Panto at the beginning of 2017. I haven’t been away from the city for that long for over ten years!! The theatre and the city have a special place in my heart so it will always be emotional I think. But looking forward to seeing everyone again and being back at HMT.
Can you tell us a little about the show and the character you play in it?
I think audiences will love the show- it’s a great night out with a very thoughtful and emotional storyline. Kay Mellor writes wonderfully and connects so well with women and that is always a gift for an actor- Betty (my character) is that wonderful mix of earthiness, humour, emotion and an everyday lioness protecting her daughters and family.
The Show has an amazing cast, have you enjoyed working with such a great ensemble?
It’s a wonderful cast- and they’ve made me so welcome. I was unable to do the whole tour because of my filming commitments for Two Doors Down and Panto in Glasgow so joining the company was a bit daunting. I was also taking over from Sam Bailey who has such a wonderful voice that I was a bit scared. But Sam was so generous and lovely and singing and acting with Jodie Prenger is just fabulous- she’s a total star. But the entire cast and ensemble are so talented and made me feel very welcome- even when they had to do extra rehearsals with me on top of an eight show week!!! That’s kindness for you!
What differences do you find performing in a show like Fat Friends, to the Pantomime?
There’s a huge difference between something like this in Panto - the main ones being that you can’t speak to the audience!! You’re playing a character and you must remain within that at all times- there’s no Elaine on show- in Panto it’s great because although there’s a tight structure and plot you can ad lib and react to the audience - in a show like this or indeed with Annie, or I dreamed a dream or any of the other shows I’ve done at HMT you can’t come out of character ever!
Do you have any favourite memories of HMT and your time here?
Too many good memories actually- from the front of house staff, Spike and the crew, to the theatre itself and the joy of the audiences. I have special personal memories too- it was the last theatre my dad ever saw me perform and the first my granddaughter ever saw me in.
Thank you so much Elaine for taking the time to speak to us.
There are still tickets left for Fat Friends here.