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Tell Us In 10: Danielle Bird

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 7 August 2019, Last Updated 18 September 2019

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!

Answering our questions this week is Danielle Bird. She’s playing the lead role of Mildred Hubble in The Worst Witch.

Before you delve into her interview, why not check out Danielle and the rest of the cast from The Worst Witch performing at this year’s West End LIVE.

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1. My route into theatre was…

The Worst Witch at West End LIVE 2019 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

My twin sister and I would make up stories together when we were kids which sparked a flame I suppose, and then I had a really inspiring drama and music teacher at secondary school who encouraged me to audition for the school productions.

I then became a member of The National Youth Theatre which got me hooked and it was there I decided to try out drama school.

 

2. My West End idol is…

Any performer in the West End that has arrived there without training in musical theatre. That route is competitive and scary, so big yay to all those idols who got there!

 

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

The Worst Witch at West End LIVE 2019 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Gosh…best ask them!

They are really well practiced at the strained smile by now it seems almost natural. Hopefully, they think I’m a good company member.

 

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

There are loads of wonderful shows I’ve seen. One that springs to mind is The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe, which was directed by Emma Rice. The music was haunting with fab visual sequences in the glorious setting of a candle lit theatre. Also, the artist Chagall is an excellent stimulus for the story.

 

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

I thought it might be the TV and film work I’ve done, but actually my proudest moment was doing a small studio Christmas show at The Oxford Playhouse Theatre where I used Makaton sign language with a non-verbal child during a relaxed performance and she signed back to me. Enabling her to communicate and express herself so she could immerse herself in the world of the play too was proper theatre magic.

 

6. The hardest part about my role is…

I think this has changed for me recently maybe as the years go on, but missing out on important moments in my friends lives hit hard when you are working on a tour for example. I ended up having to turn down being a bridesmaid for one of my oldest school friends.

 

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

I would probably buy an eco van and go round festivals selling delicious vegan food.

 

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

Now thats a secret. You will never know. *cue: witches cackle* mwahhhh ha ha ha *cough cough*

 

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

Eddie Marsan came to our drama school advising us to live ordinary lives but live extraordinary careers. Not to make our every day the dramatic bit. I was lucky to work with him two years later where he played my dad in a film directed by Mike Leigh.

 

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

Don’t try and be a people pleaser so much. Actually, I still need to tell myself this now!

You can catch Danielle in The Worst Witch now!

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