Didn't you start your West End career at Drury Lane? "Yes! My first West End role was here in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It's a beautiful theatre, and it's great to be back.
"Actually, I was here earlier in the year, with Trevor Nunn, at a Critics Circle Award event, and I caught Trevor's eye, and in a sort of stage whisper said, 'We want this theatre!' and he whispered back 'I know!' so it's brilliant that we actually got the place! This is definitely my favorite theatre in London. There's a great atmosphere here, and I hope the Lane's ghosts are glad to see me again."
What's the difference, for you, in playing in Anything Goes here rather than at the National, where this production started? "It feels very different. There's the proscenium arch, of course, which means the audience are framed, in a sense, and so we have to perform more directly to them. They're also sitting in four tiers of seating, unlike at the National, so that also affects the way you project.
"We've had more of Trevor's time at Drury Lane than we did at the National, and we've been able to work on a lot of little but very useful differences. We've got a lot of new cast members, and overall I'd say the show comes across as more glamorous than it did at the National. But given the fabulous music — some of Cole Porter's best — the show would work well almost anywhere." Presumably some of the glamour is down to the costumes? "Yes, and we've got Anthony Powell as costume designer. He's won four Oscars, so he has to be good! I've got some fantastic clothes in this show, and he knows exactly how they'll look under the lights and when you move. And speaking of moving, another reason the show works so well is Stephen Mear's choreography. My husband, Gary Milner, plays one of the sailors [Anything Goes is set on a cruise ship], so we get to dance on the same stage — at the same time, if not exactly together."
You've done a lot of musical theatre — Rags, Jolson, Godspell, Cabaret, Grease, Cats and many others. "My stage career is, basically, musical theatre. I enjoy being in drama on television, and I really enjoyed appearing in "Eastenders," which was a fun show to work on, but my great love is musicals. And singing in general. . . . It would be nice if you'd mention that I've got a second CD coming out in October, with quite a jazzy feel to it, some Kander and Ebb songs — a good mix of music. Available at Dress Circle and all good record shops!"
Do you have a favorite restaurant where you unwind after the show? "My favorite place to unwind is at home! As Gary and I are both in Anything Goes, we can chat about how the show went as we drive home. After-show parties can be great fun, and the one we had at the National on our last night there was spectacular, but in general I'd rather head for home."