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Tell Us In 10: Charlie Russell

First Published 21 November 2022, Last Updated 25 November 2022

In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions. From how their castmates would describe them and alternative careers, to their Theatreland idols, we want to know it all!

This week, we hear from Charlie Russell, who will be performing in the solo show, Charlie Russell Aims To Please at The Other Palace on 5 December.

Find out more about Charlie and her career so far below:

1. My route into theatre was…

I would watch my mum do amateur dramatics in my small town and became hooked. I performed in the panto every year I could and I had wonderful teachers who encouraged me at every turn.

2. My West End idol is…

Jonathan Sayer. (Jon – when are you paying me for this?) I’ll also try and see anything that Monica Dolan, Juliette Stevenson, Tamsin Greig or Katherine Parkinson is in.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

A nerd. A nerd for theatre, stories, The Archers, politics, perfume and time-keeping amongst others…

4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in) is…

So many have profoundly affected me – but I’ll watch Come From Away, Operation Mincemeat and Pride and Prejudice Sort Of over and over again. I go gooey for a cracking ensemble.

5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…

I’m very lucky to have been part of of lot of things I’m proud of – The Comedy About A Bank Robbery was a highlight as I helped to create a powerful female comedy lead with agency. Opening on Broadway with The Play That Goes Wrong was a dream come true for us all. But recently, it has to be performing my solo show, Charlie Russell Aims To Please – it might have been on a much smaller scale but making that show, my writing debut, and putting my own work out there was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, so I’m proud of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. And I got to work with Katie-Ann McDonough who is an incredible director and collaborator!

6. The hardest part about my role is…

When you don’t get to do it.

7. If I didn’t work in theatre I would be…

A political/foreign correspondent. Not necessarily a good one, but I think I’d still be interested in stories, communicating them to others and the inherent drama of it all.

8. Something people don’t know about me is…

I’ve got a a weirdly strong sense of smell. Useful for wine and perfume. Less fun in public bathrooms…

9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

The incredible actor Sam Barnett came to my drama school when I was training and doing some TV skills workshops. In the Q&A he said (and I paraphrase), it’s a mistake to think that your troubles are what make you good at this. We think that if we get our heads healed we might lose the magic, that we’ve got to be troubled to be good, but it’s a lie. Ultimately it’ll get in the way. Go to therapy, work out your stuff, and be healthy so you can do your job as best as you can. He was right.

Photo credit Ben Redshaw

10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…

Stop trying to ‘get it right’ – listen to yourself, your body, and make the best decisions with the information you have, let the rest unfold. Oh – and that improv group you’ve joined full of mad and freakishly talented people? Stick with them.

Tagged:
Charlie Russell Charlie Russell Aims To Please mischief mischief theatre mischief theatre company

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