You wake up one morning to find a lump in your breast. Youve had more men than hot dinners but have never had anyone say I love you. You spend every moment trying to please a man who youve grown tired of but are too afraid to leave. You look in the mirror and you dont like the woman youve spent so long trying to become. Thats the naked truth.
Bringing together the most exuberant and well-know soap stars and TV role models of recent years including Lisa Riley, Pauline Fleming, Joanne Farrell and Sarah White The Naked Truth turns an unlikely group of women into a band of pole dancers who successfully battle their personal demons and, despite everything, form friendships that can withstand any obstacle.
Drawing on the experiences of real women in real situations, the hottest stars of soap team up to explore what every woman fears in themselves and realise the possibilities that a little bravery, a pole and a pair of high-heels can open up.
Poignant but hilariously funny from the writer of Stepping Out, this is a show about women, for women, which every man should see.
FemaleFirst managed to catch up with Lisa, 30, to ask what its like treading the boards and life after playing the legendary Mandy Dingle. So have the cast received a good response from the public so far Lisa? Fantastic yeah. At every venue its different and we realised what things worked. The audience listen in different places and then we can go home and start making our own notes about where the laughs are coming and stuff like that. Thats really exciting and one thing that I love about being on tour. Dave Simpson who wrote the play has also written stuff for Emmerdale in the past as well hasnt he?Yeah, he did and now hes working with Kay Mellor, who wrote Fat Friends for me!Whats so special about this particular play for you?
Well I think its lovely how some of the money is going to charity thats fantastic. Breast cancer is really close to my heart because my mum had breast cancer. Shes now been six years in remission, so its a really positive story that we need to get out to women. Im the patron of Breakthrough Breast Cancer me and Gaby Roslin. I also do the Bury Cancer Unit in Bury where we live I do a lot for them. Can you tell us more about your character Bev in the production?
Bev is a really man mad character. She never takes anything seriously everythings a joke and giddy with her. She sort of loves life and grabs everything by the balls she really does! Its a real comedy piece for Bev but obviously I cant give the end away. Theres a big twist for her.
Have you suffered any embarrassing moments in a performance recently?
Yeah we sort of do it. Theres the quick change that we have to do when going from the normal scenes, into where we go into the clubbing scene. Weve got 11 seconds, my character and Faiths character to get ready and the other night I didnt realise I hadnt pulled my leggings up properly so I had my knickers showing at the back. Youre getting dressed in the dark, literally.
What do you think of the recent celeb trend of not wearing any underwear?
(Lisa Laughs) Well yeah it depends on what youre wearing. Especially if you have on a big clingy ball gown, you dont want your panty line showing. But I always think a thong can sort of do at least, really! (Laughs Again)
Do you get to see many theatre productions yourself?
Yeah Im going to see the Sound of Music in London in two weeks time and Im looking forward to that. I also did The Play What I Wrote, based on Morecambe and Wise I did that for 16 weeks before Christmas so Im going to see the boys. Theyre in Worcester so Im going to see them in that. Itll be weird watching some else doing my part in that. I love going to the theatre.
Theatre is something I wanted to do because with all this reality TV thats on telly, it something that I dont want to be a part of. I want to do my craft.
Youd like to do more theatre then do you have a particular part in mind?
Id love to do a period play. Like that sort of under the stairs sort of production playing the cook downstairs, Id really like that.
Could you ever have imagined that you would be a pole dancer in a theatre production what it difficult to learn?
It was great I am covered in bruises totally. Yeah its been fantastic though cos weve learnt a new skill in like three and a half weeks, so in that sense its been wonderful. I will keep on going with it definitely.
Im not doing some of the moves like the Seated Lady. Jo and Paula are doing nearly every single one of them but my character is the comedy in the show. Without giving the end away, we do loads at the finish, but throughout the whole show you think were absolutely horrific.
If your career were to suddenly finish tomorrow, would you be satisfied with your achievements?
No, theres still a hell of a lot more that I want to do still
Did anybody give you any significant advice for your role?
Well Lynda Baron who played my mum in Fat Friends, I was saying to her about it 16 months ago when wed finished the series and we knew it was coming to an end. I was speaking to her and saying that Id really love to do more theatre and stuff. Linda was like well if you want to, youve got to put your heart and soul into it and youve got to go for your goals.
Celebrity has taken on a whole new meaning now, would you agree?
Yes, I mean the way it is at the moment, my brother Liam is a celebrity isnt he cos hes my brother (Laughs) Its ridiculous and doesnt take much any more. But you see I dont class myself as a celebrity, Im an actor.
I think theres far, far too much reality TV on telly, but hopefully that will change soon rather than later. It does need more comedy and a lot more of the big dramas and stuff.
Once your involvement with the Naked Truth has finished, what is next for you? I heard you were about to star in a new British comedy film?
Yeah, Im filming that for a month in July. Then we go back on tour with the play from the end of August till the end of the year. I can say that its a British comedy and there are two famous American actors involved in it. So hopefully that will be a big success. My whole year is mapped out.
The door was left open for you to go back to Emmerdale ...
They always keep asking me to go back, but certainly not for this year. When I walk in the street, its lovely to know that my characters still very popular and well loved. So I suppose I will always have that. Even when I was in Australia working and this man shouted to me wheres your Dalmatian coat? (Laughs) That was in Oz!
I miss the friends and I did love the character very much. But at the end of the day mentally, I wanted to do more creativity myself. So obviously thats why I made the decision to leave they didnt want me to leave, when I said that I was going to. But I knew for myself that I had to it was a very big decision. I still keep in touch with Dom who plays Paddy, Mark who plays Marlon and Adele who plays Kelly. Sheree, whos left now, but played Tricia. Were all still close. What is weird is that a lot of the people who are the soap now, I wouldnt know because theyre all new people.
What storylines would you hope for if you did go back to soapland one day?
Well hopefully I would like to go back with a baby, because when I left three and a half years ago me and Paddy did have sex in my last episode. So it would be a whos the father story and then it would turn out to be Paddys.
Have you ever been starstruck?
Yeah, I mean Ive met people in my life, who Ive loved since being a kid. Bette Midler, is my ultimate idol, if I met her I wouldnt know what to do with myself.
What about the size zero models debate then whats your view on that?
I always say as long as people are healthy and they know they are. If theyre doing the right sort of thing and theyre happy with who they are, then thats fantastic. Its however comfortable you are in yourself.
Has your size ever been a drawback for you, when trying to get jobs in the acting world?
No cos you see Im different. See there are absolutely millions of size eight, 30-year-old blondes. Theres only a few like me, so Ive got a better chance of getting a role.
Whats your favourite bit in the Naked Truth?
Doing the re-writes is exciting. My favourite bit in the play theres a bit where Sarah is feeling very depressed because she cant get this certain pole move. Bev does her interpretation of it which is like full comedy and it always goes down an absolute blast every night. I do enjoy doing that.
Whats it been like so far working with Pauline, Sarah and co?
Its fantastic. The comradeship we have has been there since the first day of rehearsals, so it has been absolutely glorious. Were really lucky because thats one of the worst things that you dread as an actor on tour; you know you think oh god what if we dont get on? But that couldnt be further from the truth. Everyone is so lovely. When we did start the tutoring for our pole dancing it was brilliant - how much we were all rooting for each other. That was the best thing.
Whats the most outrageous thing that youve ever witnessed at a showbiz party?
Oh God where to start. I remember seeing Jimmy Nail we were on a stair case together at a party and hes obviously had too much to drink. He fell down the stairs I laughed and I shouldnt have done! (Laughs)
What final message would you like to say to our readers who might be thinking about going to the show what can they expect
A great night out great for going out with a group of your friends. A fun loving play that you will definitely leave afterwards with a smile on your face. Good for the soul.
The Naked Truth will be shown in venues throughout the UK from February to April 2007. For more information please visit www.theatre-productions.com
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