We are delighted to have Shrek playing at HMT until Sunday 11 March 2018. We are equally as happy to have Laura Main playing the female lead as Princess Fiona. Laura is a proud Aberdeen lass who kindly took some time out to answer some questions for us.
Tell us about the show and your role in Shrek.
Shrek the Musical follows the story of the first film with a wonderful score, original songs and big dance numbers that the whole family will love. It's about Shrek, an ogre, who goes on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona who has been locked in a dragon‐guarded tower – and that’s the part which I play. She has read all the fairytale books and is waiting for her handsome prince to rescue her to live happily ever after but she is hiding a secret is not your average fairyland princess. It's about not judging a book by its cover, about being true to yourself and celebrating yours and others’ uniqueness. It is a fairytale, but not as you've previously known them!
Were you a fan of the original films? Has this influenced your take on playing Princess Fiona?
I distinctly remember seeing the first film when it came out and being bowled over and in awe of this alternative fairytale that turns the traditional on its head and actually has a much better moral as a result. And to have a princess who is so much more than your average pretty and passive princess is so refreshing and important for young children to see. I make sure that I bring out the many different sides to her and don't just play at her being the "pretty" princess. She's feisty, fiery and funny.
What are the main differences between being a part of a musical tour and being part of a TV show like Call the Midwife?
Theatre is always lovely because you work closely together and become like a family in a way that you often don’t in television. But I am lucky in that Call the Midwife feels like a family too because we’ve worked together for so many years.
As an Aberdeen quine can you tell us how it feels playing back in the city?
It's honestly a dream come true. I love coming home to Aberdeen and seeing my family as much as possible but to combine that with a job feels really special and exciting ‐ and a little nerve wracking but I hope I can just really enjoy the two weeks of shows at home and seeing lots of friends and family.
Name one thing that you have missed and are looking forward to doing when you are back in Aberdeen?
Spending time with family, seeing my Mum and Dad, sisters and nephews and niece and, if time allows, getting out to the countryside for a wee climb of a hill is always a nice antidote to London life.
How old were you when you first performed on stage?
I think I was about 10 when I started to dance. I went to Miss Berry’s School of Dance, now Danscentre, and discovered I enjoyed performing in musicals with all the aspects of singing, dancing, and acting.
What is your earliest memory of HMT as a performer?
I can still picture auditioning for the Wizard of Oz, the first professional show I auditioned for, in the stalls bar and some of the dance we had to do, and then finding out in results later that day in the foyer! Plus, I can vividly picture standing backstage during a professional production of The Sound of Music and realising that people did this for a living and that I'd really love to too!
What is your earliest memory of HMT as an audience member?
Seeing a Student Show had a big effect of me, I was about 11 and I turned to my mum and told her I wanted to go to Aberdeen University so that I could be in that! I did end up going there before drama school in London and was very proud that I got to take on the iconic 'Doric Quine' role!
What is the most memorable show or shows you have seen in Aberdeen?
Cats, Blood Brothers and Chess I think I saw all more than once!
If you could play any part, in any show in any theatre what would it be?
Well, I'm getting to tick off a musical at His Majesty's! But if I dare to have other dreams in the future, it would be a West End or Broadway play or musical. I've visited New York twice and it has such a buzz about it, it would be great to experience that with a show and live there for a little bit. But it is very hard to plan in this career and very important to enjoy the moment you are in, and the adventures that you get to go on.
What is your biggest personal achievement to date?
I think professionally it has to be this year, working on both Call the Midwife and Shrek the Musical. It's lovely to be busy doing what I love, but it's not always like this, so I never take it for granted. And personally, running the London Marathon for Sentebale, a charity I am an ambassador for was something I never thought I'd do, but am so glad I took on that challenge.
What is the one piece of advice you would pass on for anyone looking to pursue a career in the theatre?
Get as much experience as possible! If you are doing it for the love rather than for fame then that's a very easy piece of advice to follow. Every show I did growing up, whether amateur or professional has helped, no matter what the size of the audience is. Having a space like the Arts Centre was wonderful and I did many shows there with my dancing school, amateur groups, youth theatre and later a university group. But the main thing really is that I enjoyed it.
Thanks Laura for taking the time to chat with us, and please have a look at the charity, Sentebale that Laura mentioned.
Please Click Here to Book