Gearing up to step into the much-loved role of Baroness Bomburst in the 2016-17 UK and Ireland tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Claire Sweeney has got an exciting few months ahead.
We got the opportunity to chat to Claire about life on the stage, why she loves this show so much and more. Read on to find out what she had to say...
You're going to play Baroness Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - what is it about this show that you love?
It's magical, it's one of the only shows that when I say I'm appearing in it everybody's face lights up, no matter what age they are and it's a beautiful new production which I am proud to be a part of.
For those not familiar with the show or character, what can you tell us about them?
The character of Baroness Bomburst is pretty evil but quite funny as well. She hates children which is the polar opposite of me and my life to the extent that every time the word 'child' is mentioned she has a convulsion!
How demanding is life working on the stage in theatre?
When you love your job it makes everything easier and I love my job. I have a two-year-old and I am lucky that I get to spend all day with him as I don't have to be at work until 6pm apart from on matinee days.
Why do you think theatre is so popular still to this day?
I think theatre will always be popular - it's not a fashion or a fad. Theatre changes with the times - Hamilton the Musical is a great example of this, but people still love the old classics. Musical theatre is pure escapism.
Do you have a favourite stage show or musical?
Jersey Boys is one of my favourites as you know every song in the show and it's a great story. It is so uplifting.
You've worked in a lot of different mediums, such as television and on the stage - how different are they all to work in?
With theatre you get the immediate response and buzz from the audience. Also as a performer, theatre gives you the chance to revisit your performance every day. Television is very different, as you can film something and it's not shown for months.
Would you like to return to TV full-time at some point?
Of course, I would love to get into a good TV drama or comedy.
What advice do you have for those looking to emulate success like yours?
Work hard. Never stop learning and always be nice and respectful to the people around you.
Claire Sweeney will be starring in the UK Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from 3 August. To book tickets visit, www.chittythemusical.co.uk and in the West End Proms at The Lytham Festival 2016 on Sunday 7 August www.lythamfestival.com