Thursday, 5 February 2015

INTERVIEW Claire Sweeney - on her show Sex In Suburbia

IN a career spanning more than 20 years Claire Sweeney has unsurprisingly got a pretty extensive and varied CV.
The Liverpool-born actress has appeared in numerous roles on stage and screen and has co-presented on several daytime TV programmes.
She's also done stints in panto, been a contestant on reality shows and is about to add radio presenting to her list of talents.
But right now the 43-year-old is focusing on a very personal project - that of a show which she wrote herself with friend Mandy Muden and in which she stars.
Sex In Suburbia is a comic take on the mysteries of men, dating and motherhood and as part of a nationwide tour is coming to the New Wimbledon Theatre on February 20 and 21.
Packed with revealing and raunchy storylines set to a backdrop of popular musical anthems including I’m Every Woman, I Want To Break Free and Somebody Else’s Guy, Claire tells me the show is designed to make the audience laugh, cry and dance in the aisles.
"I'm really excited about it but very nervous," she says in a snatched break from rehearsals. "I've been working on it for about two years with Mandy so it's been a real labour of love.
"I had my baby Jaxon in September, who has changed my outlook on life, so I've been doing a bit of re-writing. I've changed one of the characters and have included stories on the perils of pregnancy and what happens when you have a baby."
The show features Claire as a working mum with a baby who joins agony aunt Penny Crowe (played by Lindzi Germain) on her late-night radio phone in.
The pair take calls about every date from hell and dish out relationship advice.
"It's all true stuff that we talk about," says Claire. "It's basically the eternal subject of love and romance and mixes stories about stuff that's happened to me and my friends - all the usual like disaster dating, finding Mr Right and so on.
"I've tried to make them as funny as possible and so that everyone can relate to them.
"There is also some great music in it with lots of fabulous songs including my all time favourite - Somebody Else's Guy which I get to sing! It's a lot of fun."
The idea was born out of a conversation she had with a producer she worked with while she was in a production of the musical Tell Me On A Sunday.
"I was telling the producer about funny things that had happened to me over the years and he told me to start writing them down," she says.
"At first, when Mandy and I started we weren’t even sure if we were funny so I was really nervous about putting it on stage."
The show was taken to Liverpool's Royal Court last year and Claire admits the positive reception she got was a surprise.
"The audiences really loved it," she says. "I really didn't know how they would react but they loved it and laughed so much so we decided to take it out on the road. It was amazing because I had never set out to write anything ever.
"What's been great is that although we thought it was more targeted at women, we have had groups of men coming to see it.
"It's absolutely not a man bashing show though - there are stories from both a man's and a woman's point of view. Basically it's just a great laugh."
And she's particularly looking forward to bringing the show to Wimbledon not least because she's currently house hunting in the area.
"I love it here," she enthuses. "I've been in London 13 years now and I feel at home. It's great we can bring it to Wimbledon - it's a fabulous theatre and I love the village."
Despite the fact she's proud of the show she has no plans to do more.
"I loved the experience of writing it but I am not sure I'll so anymore. I'm so busy with Jaxon and this show at the moment and I'm just been given my own radio show which I'm really excited about - but you know what they say, never say never!"
So now she has done most of the things on her career bucket list, what of the future?
"I would love to get a good part on Corrie," she muses. "I'd like a comedy part - someone like Elsie Tanner. That would be great!"

Sex In Suburbia is on at the New Wimbledon Theatre, Broadway, Wimbledon on Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21. Visit or call the box office on 0844 871 7646 for tickets.

No comments:

Post a Comment