The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the incredible Lauren Jones, who is (in my opinion) the most exciting rising star in the West End right now. Lauren just finished her run in the West End production of Bonnie & Clyde as Trish (and Alternate Bonnie/1st Cover Blanche). Bonnie & Clyde was Lauren's West End debut.

Get yourself comfy and join Lauren and I for a chat about all things stagey!

Hi Lauren, how are you? Thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page today! Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into acting?
Hi Zoe, I’m great thank you! My name is Lauren Jones but many people may know me as laurenzazzles on social media (although many of the company call me this in person) and I play Trish in Bonnie & Clyde as well as covering Bonnie and Blanche. I first got into acting when I was playing Brigitt in “The Sound of Music” at Kilworth house when I was 12 years old. That was the first moment I knew I wanted to be in theatre. I was lucky enough to have a family who was incredibly supportive of what I wanted to do and they helped me get on stage as much as possible by taking me to Curve theatre where I was part of CYC (Curve Young Company). Whilst I was there I performed in a show called The Dreaming (where I got my first taste of leading a show) and A Midsummer Nights Dream (which is how I met Nick Winston, our director and choreographer for Bonnie & Clyde) this is also where my love for Shakespeare began to develop.

You're currently in your West End debut as Trish, in Bonnie & Clyde. How are you finding it?
It’s absolutely amazing. It’s so much fun and I’m so lucky to be performing with such an amazing company and creative team. Every now and then when I’m walking back to my dressing room, it hits me that I’m actually performing in the west-end!

There are whispers of a cast recording. Were you involved in that? We need Trish's "Chevrolet" immortalised forever.

As well as Trish, you're alternate Bonnie and 1st cover Blanche. They're two very different roles - almost polar opposites. What was the creative process like for learning and rehearsing those roles?
When I was auditioning for Bonnie & Clyde I was up for 1st cover Bonnie. Only when I was offered the role did I realise I was also given Blanche and my heavens was I scared but so excited! I began researching and learning my lines as soon as possible just in case I was ever thrown on during previews. I was also allowed to watch the whole rehearsal process of how the characters were developed, making many notes in my script and colour coding the lines so visually I couldn’t mix them up. Like you said, they are polar opposites and by researching into them whether by book or by film, I was discovering who they were separately. It also helps that we have such a wonderful supportive cast that has always made me feel safe on stage. I make sure I stay true to the intentions of the director and choreography of the scene whilst using my research to create a version of the character that is my own. 

Bonnie & Clyde is, of course, based on true events and real characters. Did you do any research into the era and the iconic due themselves before starting rehearsals?
So much research. I absolutely love research. I’m still doing it now. Books, songs, films, poems! Ask any of the cast and they’ll tell you how I constantly had a book by my side. I find it so fascinating learning about their lives and finding new things to put into my performance, especially tiny details that some people may or may not notice. It’s what really excites me. 

What's been a standout moment from the run of Bonnie & Clyde so far?
It was probably performing “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad” for what I thought was the last time on Tuesday 5th July. I cannot explain how amazing that moment felt. 

photo credit: @89samwithacam

When growing up, did you always know you wanted to be on stage?
I think when I was younger I wanted to be a fairy, then a mermaid, then a pop star, then a movie star. I had a huge imagination when I was kid. 

What's your favourite song to sing in Bonnie & Clyde; either to sing or to watch?
Fave song to sing is “Too Late to Turn Back Now”. I loooooove belting with Clyde and creating this rock element to my voice. I feel so badass and it’s so much fun to do. As my Trish track, “Made in America” is my absolute fave to perform. It was actually the song that made me fall in love with the music of Bonnie & Clyde. I’m a sucker for syncopation. 

Bonnie & Clyde is almost over. Do you have any plans after the show finishes? I can't wait to see what you do next.
No plans at the moment. I’m waiting to hear back from a few auditions at the moment and I’m praying Bonnie & Clyde gets a transfer, so we shall see. 

My blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?
Oh that’s hard! Maybe something like Coraline. I would absolutely love to see that as a musical. I can only imagine how intricate and unsettling the score would sound. Like Danny Elfman meets Sondheim.

Thank you so much for chatting to us, Lauren. We can't wait to see what you do next! 

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