An Interview with Rebecca Humphries

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Hello Rebecca, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?

I’m from Norwich, live in Shepherds Bush but am currently in Stratford Upon Avon, where I is doing a play.

Can you talk us through the earliest stages in your development as a performer?

Hmm, well I suppose it all starts when your parents recognise you as a terrible show off and send you to drama clubs and that sort of thing. I don’t know how much I really ‘developed’ during the years before drama school, other than gaining in confidence!

Since then, you’ve acted on stage & screen, but you also have a writer’s vein. Your debut, Dizney Rascal, was quite a smash & the book & lyrics were yours. What made you do it?

I suppose what I’m saying is that will always be the point I consider my true development to have started! When I realised in 2014 that the kind of work I was doing post drama school didn’t really reflect my taste or ambition, and that was the moment where I sort of threw the rule book out of the window and said ‘fuck it, no point in being halfway up a ladder I didn’t even want to climb. I’m doing my own thing’. Funnily enough, it was when I started having that attitude the acting work I really wanted followed.

Can you tell us about the creative processes between yourself & composer Jo Cichonska?

Jo and I absolutely love working together, and we don’t actually do it all that often because real life and other jobs get in the way. Generally speaking I’ll come to her with a concept for a song, a ‘personality’ of it if you like, often with the lyrics. And together we’ll make it catchy and fun and make sure that we love performing it. If we don’t it’s dead. But we usually do!

What makes a good comedy musical?

Quality. Every song needs to be on point, the acting has to be brilliant, it needs to have great gags and bags of class. I don’t mean that in a snooty middle class way. You can be silly and irreverent and filthy and still have style.

What does Rebecca Humphries like to do when she’s not immersed in the arts?

Ha, well she doesn’t have time for much else at the moment! (I love talking about myself in third person, I’m so glad you asked). An honest way to answer this is to tell you what I’ve done with my time off in Stratford-go to the pub*, go to the fun fair*, browse in Waitrose and play with my cat who is literally the most beautiful cat in the world. He really is.

*not on my own
**on my own

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This year you are bringing Dizney Rascal’s follow-up to the Fringe, the delightfully named Prom Kween, can you give us the spiel?

Sure! Prom Kween follows the story of the first ever non-binary kid to be crowned Prom Queen at their high school in 2016. It’s based on a true story, and is all kinds of fabulous. We have the most amazing, AMAZING cast and team with a ludicrously impressive combined experience and I’m so excited for it. Our producer Aine was behind the cult hit Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho and last year’s smash How to Win Against History, and ours sits somewhere between those and my own Disney show. That’s a pretty good summation.

You’ve already performed Prom Kween at the Vault Festival. How did it go down & will there be any tweaks for Edinburgh?

It was performed as an R&D (research & development) piece, so in a very early stage. We couldn’t believe the response. We sold out, got standing ovations every night and won a comedy award for it. I mean…..yeah I was chuffed with that. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come but you never bloody know with Edinburgh, sometimes it’s enough of a challenge to get anyone to turn up!

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Rebecca Humphries?

Well first I have to finish my show here at the RSC, then Edinburgh, then holiday. I’m going to go on a totally lovely holiday after all this.
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REBECCA WILL BE PERFORMING IN HER OWN
‘PROM KWEEN’
Aug 3-27 (20.35) : Underbelly Cowgate
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