Panto to Polly Peachum for busy Ulster actress Jayne
'I don't even have time to dust!'
The run-up to Christmas is busy for most people but for Coleraine actress Jayne Wisener, this December is quite simply frantic, as she is starring as Cinderella in a traditional panto in Dartford, before opening in the Lyric Theatre’s far-from-traditional production of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera - with just ONE day off in between.
“I have never had an overlap like this between jobs, just one day,” said Jayne, who is playing Polly Peachum in the Threepenny Opera, in what will be her first role at the Lyric Theatre.
“I am in Cinderella with Michelle Collins and Louis Spence and then it’s straight into Threepenny Opera rehearsals in Belfast but it’s just great. I just love getting into a rehearsal room. I love it, it doesn’t feel like work.”
And yet, the two projects are poles apart in both style and content.
“It took me two full weeks to even learn the songs for the auditions for Threepenny Opera. The music is just not what you expect it to be,” she went on. “People think they know the music because they know the song Mac the Knife from the show, but the songs are very tricky. In some ways, the music and the songs are like Stephen Sondheim’s, but once you learn them and hear them, you certainly won’t forget them and they are crafted in such a way that they are perfect to act out.” The character of Polly is the new bride of Mac the Knife who is “just an awful person, a criminal”, added Jayne, who has starred in hit movie Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp, as well as appearing on TV in The Inbetweeners and Six Degrees.
“I am so excited as I know so many of the cast, like Jolene O’Hara who I was in Music Theatre 4 Youth with, and Orla Mullan who I did The Secret Garden with. I can’t wait. Everyone knows each other and I’m just thrilled to be performing in the Lyric for the first time. It’s just such an amazing theatre.”
Joining Jayme in the lead roles are Mark Dugdale as Mac, with Steven Page (“I did Parade with Steven ten years ago,” added Jayne, “he’s a proper opera singer!”) as Polly’s father Mr Peachum., and Matthew Cavan, aka drag artist Cherry On Top, as Jayne’s mum Mrs Peachum. **The Threepenny Opera runs from January 27 - February 10, 2018. Booking now lyrictheatre.co.uk/event/the-threepenny-opera/