Rebecca Birch, star of the summer season’s Alice in Wonderland, is to return for The Secret Seven! We interviewed her to find out how she feels about Storyhouse and The Secret Seven.
Storyhouse is producing the world’s first stage version of Enid Blyton’s children’s classic The Secret Seven this Christmas. Rebecca Birch starred in Storyhouse’s opening rep season as Alice in Glyn Maxwell’s Alice in Wonderland.
Hi Rebecca! You were one of the 26 actors to perform in Storyhouse’s rep company – the largest in the country outside of the RSC, National and Globe. Being part of the theatre’s acclaimed opening season. What was that like?
“It was truly special, and something I will never forget. Getting to see inside the venue as the final touches were taking place, knowing we will always be the inaugural company and being a part of Alex Clifton’s vision was just truly wonderful. As the ‘king’s footman’ in The Beggars Opera, I was actually the first actor to step on stage in front of an audience. That is something I will hold dear for a very long time.”
During the summer, you appeared in Alice in Wonderland and The Beggar’s Opera, uniquely for a theatre season performing indoors and out.
How was that experience for you?
“I had always wanted to do Rep, I’d heard stories from more experienced actors and friends who had done the few other rep seasons in the UK; it was more fun that I could have imagined! Rehearsals were mad, you might be upstairs doing a fight call for an hour, then downstairs blocking the Humpty Dumpty scene, then back upstairs to run a musical number. Once you’re open the fun continues…my favourite days were when we would have an Alice matinee in the park and a Beggars show at Storyhouse in the evening”.
You will finish up 2017 having lived in Chester for over 9 months. How do you feel about your new adopted home?
“Chester is such a wonderful place to work and that is largely down to the audiences! Storyhouse has created a cultural centre for Chester and the true spirit of community is felt the moment you step off the train…when you pass the walls…and when you step through the doors of Storyhouse. Both in the theatre and in the park, the Chester audiences were supportive and brave and a joy to perform to. Especially when playing Alice…the younger audience members were just so kind and imaginative and it was such a pleasure to meet them afterwards. I can’t wait to see them again at Christmas!”
And finally, you will play the character of Susie, Peter’s older and conniving sister, in The Secret Seven. What does Enid Blyton mean to you?
“I read lots of Enid Blyton as a child! All the Famous Five and Secret Seven books. My favourite was The Magic Faraway Tree and The Naughtiest Girl in School. The magic in the first and the scandal in the latter both had me reading late into the night with a torch under the duvet!”
The Secret Seven runs from 1 December – 14 January. Tickets are on sale now!