Louisa Lytton stars as Rizzo in Grease, which is the one that you want to see (of course), when it returns to Milton Keynes Theatre from August 28.
Louisa trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School and her first professional role was in Eastenders, playing Ruby Allen.
She has since enjoyed a host of varied roles, from parts in the internationally successful American Pie franchise, to the British Shakespeare Company's productions of both A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.
Most recently Louisa has appeared in the new prime-time ITV comedy drama The Edge of Heaven, filmed a thriller due to be released in Oct 2017 called Fractured and appeared in the Canadian period drama Murdoch Mysteries.
And let's not forget that she is a former Strictly Come Dancing quarter-finalist too!
Louisa went On Stage with Total MK and shared her theatre loves, lessons and calamities ...
Tell us about your first memory of the theatre…
I went to see Annie I think, it was maybe one of the first show’s I went to see. Growing up though it was every Christmas we would go to see a show, it was my yearly treat.
The first show I was actually obsessed with was Saturday Night Fever, when I was probably about ten or eleven… I went to see it three times.
And the moment when you realised the theatre was your calling…
I went to Sylvia Young so I trained in all three areas, and I think it was during training at school I figured this was exactly what I wanted to do.
Any dreadful calamities, or funny happenings on stage that you would care to share with us?
One of my first ever pantomimes, I played Peter Pan, and they flew me into the set instead of out of the window!
Which stage actor, living or dead, would you most like to meet, and what question would you ask them?
I’d like to meet Imelda Staunton who is still alive, obviously.
I saw her recently in Gypsy and it was honestly one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen.
I’d probably just like to have a tea with her and ask, “How’d you do it?”
Do you have any superstitions, or pre-performance routines?
Not necessarily, but I don’t like anything to change, like if something is missing on a costume etc.
I don’t have anything to begin with, but once the show is up and running I don’t like anything to be different.
The best piece of advice given to you when you started in the business…
Henry Winkler who played the Fonz, I did a show with him once, and I remember him saying to me, “Never ever go into a casting as if you’re auditioning, always go in as if you’ve got the job and you’re reading it through with the director for the first time.”
What do you think has been your steepest learning curve?
I think I learn something new on every job if I’m honest. I started off very young and learnt on the job from a very young age.
With every job I’ve had I’ve been working around new people so I’ve picked up something from them.
How do you fill your spare time while on tour?
I have been going to the gym, I’ve been boxing – the guy who plays Kenickie in the show is a PT as well as an actor, so he’s been training me.
So we spend a lot of time working out. How boring.
Nerves or excitement? Which takes over just before the curtain rises?
I’m always nervous for the first show of anything, I’m always nervous really in the first venue or when something changes. But now it’s excitement.
How can the future of theatre be safeguarded? What would you do to entice new blood to audiences?
It’s really difficult, because obviously it’s expensive now, and now we’re living in a time where everyone has a device, a phone, an iPad or whatever, and to then have children in a theatre they have to totally switch off and concentrate on one thing for two hours – it’s proven quite difficult.
New musicals are coming in with music that is relevant to a younger generation so I guess that’s what brings new audiences in.
Now tell us about the three favourite roles your have played so far, and what makes them special.
1 Rizzo (Grease) is obviously my first musical theatre production so that will always be a massively memorable character for me
2 Ruby Allen in Eastenders was my first ever real professional job, so that was huge.
3 I did a Canadian period drama and I played a character called Ginny, so probably that, because period drama is what I would love to do more of.
Finally, for those yet to grab a ticket to GREASE, sell the show.
It’s such a feel good show, you’ll definitely leave the theatre in a great mood.
It’s full of singing and dancing for you to join in with!
To book your seat at Milton Keynes Theatre, click here
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