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5 minutes with Melanie La Barrie

Melanie La Barrie

What are the 3 things you love most in life?
My fella, my family, my art. Oh, and macaroni and cheese. I’m having four, I’m not even mad.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A neuroscientist. I had the illusion that I was clever.

What is your earliest memory?
With all the Prosecco I’ve consumed, you’re lucky I can remember where I live.

What makes you happy?
Everything can make me happy. The quiet, the noise, a restful day, a busy week, other people laughing. An ordinary day can make me ecstatic. An extraordinary day can fill me with joy!

What makes you angry?
In-authenticity. When people are not telling the truth, to me or to themselves.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Macaroni and cheese! It’s my sad food, my happy food, my I-don’t-want-to-dirty-more-than-one-pot food.

Which play changed your life?
Every play that I’ve ever done or ever seen has changed me in one way or the other. When I did ‘Ma Rainey’ at the Liverpool Playhouse I learned how to stand up for myself and what it meant to be my most honest on stage. I guess that I am most changed by the play that brought me to London – Clear Water by Cristopher Rodriguez. It gave me a new home, a new life, a new adventure.

What’s exciting you about joining The Company?
I am excited by everything that I will learn in the coming months, from every person that I will encounter. I am excited by the new-ness of it all, by the possibility of it all.

What are you looking forward to doing when you’re (back) in Liverpool next year?
There is so much to do! This is such an extraordinary city. I can only hope that we will have the time to see and do anything at all!

What was your first experience of the Everyman?
When I was at the Playhouse back in 2004, we were invited to watch something at the Everyman. I forget what, which is no reflection on the production or the actors. But I sat in that auditorium and cried before the play even started. I knew that this space was very special.

If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) for a drink in the bar who would it be and why?
My mother and my stepmother. They live on the other side of the world. I do not see them enough.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an actor or the best advice received?
I think every lesson, big or small, has been of the utmost importance to me, so I cannot think of one that stands above. But I have a little life lesson that I carry around with me comes from Maya Angelou – ‘I did what I knew how to do. And when I knew better, I did better.’