Cathy Conneff stars in The Off West End Awards-nominated one woman play, 21 Round for Christmas, which arrives at Park Theatre following acclaimed runs at the Hope Theatre and Bridge House Theatre.
Tracy, a day-dreaming, outspoken and extroverted-introvert is trapped in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner for her huge fussy family while her best friend is lying in a hospice. She just wants to go back to happier times. The production runs from 6-23 December.
You’re starring in 21 Round for Christmas at Park Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?
It’s a rowdy, riotous and rambunctious visit to Tracy’s kitchen as she prepares Christmas dinner (or at least attempts to!) for her exacting and ungrateful family, whilst sharing the gossip on them, her best mate Jackie and how to bag yourself a bloke.
What was it about Toby Hampton and Matthew Ballantyne’s script that really appealed to you as an actor?
As well as being extremely funny, it has so much heart. And whilst on the surface, Tracy appears to be something of a comedian, there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. She’s just so well written as a character, it’s one of those scripts that just speaks to me. And I love all the audience interaction.
It’s had previously acclaimed runs, how does it feel to be bringing it back and to the Park Theatre?
To quote Tracy; “bit of pressure!” I can’t tell you how made up I was to get this role, I could hardly believe it. I am so excited to be working on this wonderful play with this brilliant group of people but I am also aware that I am filling the shoes of some fantastic actors, so a bit nervous! Also, The Park, I love this theatre so much, so bit of a dream come true.
You’re playing Tracy, tell us a little about the character and what you love about the role?
Tracy’s such a warm and witty (and at times, vulnerable) person, who very much doesn’t realise just how funny she is. She’s ended up where she is through simple rotten luck. I just really love that she’s very much a real human being who’s making the best of things and muddling through life as best she, which I think most of us are! She’s so generous with the audience and what she shares with them, including her stash of mince pies.
And what’s the most challenging thing about performing in this one woman play?
I think again, taking on the mantle of truly brilliant people and keeping the audience engaged and with me. I think getting the energy right in the various different parts is also a challenge. I think riffing off an audience will be very different experience to riffing off other actors.
What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to see 21 Round for Christmas?
Treat it like meeting a new friend: get ready to have a good old chinwag, and leave your Ps and Qs at the door!