WITH a week until As You Like It opens Stafford Festival, Shakespeare newbie, award-winning actress Shirley Darroch, can barely contain her excitement.
Having trained at the Birmingham School of Acting she recently won Best Supporting Actress at the Manchester Theatre Awards for her role as Mama Morton in Chicago at the Oldham Coliseum. The show was also voted number six in the Guardian's critic choice 2013.
This is her first time performing with Stafford's annual outdoor Shakespeare production and she is playing Audrey, a character the Scottish-born actress describes as being "a wee laugh" with a "coquettish and histrionic nature."
"She is fascinated by Touchstone the fool (played by Eric Potts) and I think, sees him as a bit of a meal ticket."
The talented actress is also a highly skilled musician, specialising in the trumpet and numerous singing disciplines, which will come in very handy for As You Like It as the show features plenty of live music including some iconic 60s classics from the likes of Bob Dylan and more.
"Audiences will love the 60s crowd-around-a-bonire-and -sing vibe," Darroch said.
As You Like It opens next Sunday and runs until Saturday, July 12, at Stafford Castle.
Tickets cost between £12 and £25 depending on the performance and are selling fast.
They can be booked by calling the box office on 01785 254653 or by visiting www.staffordfestivalshake speare.co.uk.