A 5 Minute Chat With Jodie Prenger

Since she won the BBC talent show to be Nancy in Oliver, Jodie Prenger has gone on to be one of our brightest stage talents, excelling in both plays and musicals, and playing iconic characters like Shirley Valentine, Miss Hannigan and Beverly in Abigail’s Party.

Now, ahead of her latest role as Helen in Shelagh Delaney’s classic play ‘A taste of honey’ I chatted to Jodie at the Birmingham Hippodrome about her extraordinary career so far.

Fashion-Mommy: A Taste of Honey is a National Theatre production, what is it that draws you to the productions, and do you have a favourite so far?

Jodie: Not a fave because I always think you take something different from National Theatre productions. In A Taste of Honey I really love the throwback to the 1950s era.

FM: You have a habit of taking iconic roles (Shirley Valentine, Miss Hannigan etc). How do you make them your own?

JP: They are iconic roles, but I think your interpretation develops in the rehearsal room. Being part of a company is so special, so exhilarating, that your production forms as your own adaptation. You develop your performance as you learn the show, the era it was set in, the text etc.

FM: You split your time between theatre and tv acting and presenting. Do you have a preference?

JP: No preference. I’ve always been the kind of person who just likes to work with lovely people, directors, crew and cast. I learn so much from each role and responsibility and just respect learning and working with other people.

FM: Which role would be your dream role?

JP: In all fairness, Helen (in A Taste of Honey ) is a dream role. She is electrifying and totally real. It is a role that ticks all the boxes. I mean, I wouldn’t sell my grandmother to get a part, bur do love a new project. I’m constantly learning, that’s why I love a period piece. For A Taste of Honey the set is just astonishing, and I love the fact that music has been added.

FM: It’s been more than 10 years since you were chosen to play Nancy in Oliver. Would you still advocate entering a TV talent show as a way to get on stage?

JP: I’d love it if the BBC did another Nancy style show. I think the talent shows have helped to carve out some great careers. But although you can win these things, there is always the hard work that comes after. So many do seek quick fame without thinking of this, you need hard work to back up the initial fame or else you won’t gain as much.

FM: I’d read somewhere you were once an agony aunt – is this true?

JP: Yes I was, for Closer magazine quite a few years ago. I’m still like this though, I am a Mother Hen on set, always keep my door open with a brew on if someone needs to chat.

Jodie will be touring with the National Theatre’s A Taste of Honey this Autumn, for tour dates click here.