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Interview with Ann Marie Davies 2009

A night to remember: Brookside’s Ann Marie Davies explains to Chris High what it means to be starring at The Liverpool Empire in a play surrounding a team she loves and their most famous of nights.

Ann Marie DaviesIt might be two years since Ann Marie Davies was last seen on stage in Merseyside, but the former Brookside actress who played Katrina Evans for four years, has been far from idle. Since appearing in Brian McCann’s critically acclaimed Bully in 2007, she has appeared in several short films, Heartbeat and Doctors as well as establishing High Horizons with fellow actress and Brookside colleague, Suzanne Collins, an acting academy for school children of all ages which has gone from strength to strength. All this and she’s become a mum as well. Not bad for an actor who is supposedly “resting” as they say. Now Ann Marie is about to make a return to the stage as Adaley, the Turkish love interest in Nicky Allt’s first new play since the mega-hit Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, co-written with Dave Kirby. One Night In Istanbul isat The Empire from July 9th and is set fair to be another winner.

The play, if you hadn’t guessed from the title, is based around Liverpool Football Club’s heroics in the European Champions League final in Istanbul in 2005. In order to pay for their trip, Tom and Gerry have to find the Grand Bazaar to sell Adolf Hitler’s cufflinks and things go from there. As circumstances unravel in this football fairytale - leading to a case of mistaken identity over some stolen cash - the audience can expect, like that famous May night, some surprises thrown in for good measure.

So having secured the part, it’s only fair to ask Ann Marie whether she actually likes football and whether she can remember the night in question. ‘I love football, support Liverpool and can clearly remember the night ... well, most of it. I was watching the game at my Mother-In-Law’s house, and wasn’t feeling too good – especially at half time when we were three nil down and looking like we were going to lose. Then when we won, I ended up in town with all my friends and family, enjoying the fantastic atmosphere in Concert Square. It’s actually amazing how quickly I recovered after we’d won but it was an unforgettable night.’

Adaley is a hotel chambermaid and something of a modern day Cinderella. ‘She might appear that way,’ Ann Marie says, ‘but she’s quite devious in the way she plays the guys off each other. Nicky asked me if I’d be interested in the part quite a while ago now and its such a fun script it was difficult to do anything but say yes once I’d read it. There’s also the added bonus of it being performed at home so I can stay close to my family. I’m really looking forward to it because it is so much fun and a play that you don’t have to understand football to enjoy.’

As well as appearing on stage and TV, Ann Marie has her heart set on establishing High Horizons on Wirral. ‘It’s mine and Suzanne’s dream to expand High Horizons and since we started in 2005, it’s been going really, really well. Every school holiday we run a holiday club which are always very popular and its great interacting with the kids and getting them involved in something which they can all enjoy doing.’

And acting out a Moral Issues play around schools was how Bully first came about before being extended into a full length play and being transferred to Birkenhead’s Town Hall. ‘Istanbul is my first local stage appearance since then and if ever Brian and Active Drama wanted to restage it, both Suzanne and I would love to be involved again. There was a meeting recently with another theatre on Wirral but the trouble remains in finding a venue because there’s lots of political stuff happening on Wirral at the moment with regards to finance and what the council want to do with the buildings it has. There has even been talk of Bully being taken around different venues, so it’s a case of wait and see at the moment but it is a great play that everyone would enjoy and learn something from.’

The Empire Theatre is an iconic stage to most actors, but for Ann Marie appearing at the biggest theatre in the region is something special. ‘I can’t believe it to be honest. It’s such an amazing theatre and the fact that it’s in my home town makes it even more so to me. I’ve seen hundreds of shows performed there right from when I was a kid, so to actually be on the stage performing is really exciting and I can’t wait to get started.’

One Night In Istanbul runs at The Liverpool Empire from July 9 – July 18. Tickets available from The Liverpool Empire Theatre Website

For more information about High Horizons: http://www.highhorizons.co.uk

Parts of this interview have, or will, appear in other publications and in other formats.

 

  
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If you would like to comment on this interview with Ann Marie Davies in June 2009, please feel free to contact me - GUESTBOOK

“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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