Star Interview: Sue Wallace

Actress Sue Wallace
Actress Sue Wallace

DESPITE having lived in Northampton for 24 years, actress Sue Wallace rather sheepishly admits that this month she will perform for the first time at her local theatre, the Royal & Derngate.

Having led a successful career, which has seen her take on roles in countless TV favourites, such as Dinnerladies, Coronation Street, Housewife 49 and The Royal, she has spent more time on the road than acting at the theatre near her home.

But that is all changing from tomorrow when she takes to the Royal stage in Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, Hedda Gabler, which continues until July 28 and forms part of the theatre’s Festival of Chaos.

In the play, Hedda (played by Emma Hamilton) finds herself caught in a claustrophobic marriage.

Sue plays Hedda’s husband’s Aunt Julle.

Sue, who lives in Abington, said: “I have supported the theatre but when I first came here I was doing lots of TV work. But it is often the way you don’t work in the town you live in.

“Aunt Julle is sort of Hedda’s mother-in-law, Hedda has married Jurgen and his two aunts have brought him up. She is the one who goes in and gets things organised for them for when they come back from honeymoon. All the plays (in the festival) are about repressed societies and women being repressed. It is set in the 1890s and that was the sort of life people led, women wanted to break free.”

As well as being an actress, Sue is also a qualified teacher, a career she initially took on after studying English and Drama at Birmingham University.

Reading through a list of the acting work Sue has done in her life is to be reminded of some of the country’s most celebrated shows.

But one common strand in her biography is her work with the much-loved comedienne, Victoria Wood, with whom she has appeared in Housewife 49, Dinnerladies, Pat and Margaret and Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV.

Sue said: “I have known Victoria since Birmingham. She is such a brilliant talent, she writes all her songs and her sketches. When you get one of her scripts the dialogue comes off the page and when you get a script like that it is really special. Because she is so musically gifted, she understands the rhythm of language and comedy. When you script something right you can tell the difference.”

And for now Sue is delighted to have the chance to star in Hedda Gabler at her hometown theatre.

She said: “The Festival of Chaos trilogy is so exciting for a regional theatre to be doing. People in Northampton need to consider themselves lucky that someone has been as brave as that to put these plays on.”

To book tickets, ring Northampton 624811, or 
online at www.
royalandderngate.co.uk