Call the Midwife star Laura Main says she is delighted to be making the leap from midwifery to go off to a kingdom far, far away.
She appears as the heroine Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical coming to Milton Keynes Theatre from Wednesday July 25 to Saturday August 5.
Laura said: “There is a hell of a twist for her character and I think that is what is so brilliant about this fairy tale.
“It takes the traditional and turns it on its head and it has such a better message as a result.
“Princess Fiona is fiery, feisty and funny and goes on quite a journey, but there are many sides to her.”
Based on the story and characters from the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, this production turns the world of fairy tales upside down in an all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy.
Unlikely hero Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey embark on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing, love-sick dragon. With the addition of the diminutive Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairy tale misfits and a biscuit with attitude, the result is an irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance, guaranteed to delight audiences.
Laura admits it is a dream come true to play the part.
She said: “I saw the film as a young adult and enjoyed it, and children enjoy it as well.
“But I went to see the musical and have to be honest, I was watching it hoping that I would get the chance to audition for the show. It is a great fun part.”
We are keen to avoid spoilers in the chat that we have for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but those who have will know Laura’s physical appearance undergoes quite a change.
“Physically, it is not that much of a challenge because of the amazing team that we have working on the show that make the changed state happen, ” she said.
“I rarely get to see myself because the make-up goes on and off so quickly and there is very rarely a mirror but when I do see it, I am in awe of the result.
“There is a lot more vulnerability when she is in that state because she doesn’t feel comfortable and there are lots of levels to this.”
One of Laura’s most intimidating moments was on stage, when appearing in a show for just 50 people, she found out that Andrew Lloyd Webber was among the audience.
She said: “We were sold out and I’d had to ask one of my friends to give up her seat so that he could see the show.
“It was good to know in advance that he was doing it because it was such an intimate space.”
I mention to Laura that Call the Midwife is likely to be the show she will be known for for a long time, an accolade that she will happily take.
Laura said: “I had a call from my agent that I had an audition which was right at the start. It wasn’t like I was going in for this big show.
“I knew it was going to be a good audition because of the pages that we were asked to prepare - the writing was great.
“It was then meeting the director and the producer that you knew that it was going to be at a really high level. And then you get the phone call from your agent to say you’ll be appearing alongside Pam Ferris, Judy Parfitt and Jenny Agutter, it was kind of mind blowing.”
Tickets for Shrek the Musical can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 871 7652 or by visiting www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes.