Ruth Jones reveals 'fear' that stopped her doing theatre

The Gavin And Stacey star is now making her West End debut

Edinburgh, UK. 13th August, 2018. Ruth Jones, Welsh television actress, novelist and screen writer. She co-starred in and co-wrote the award-winning British comedy Gavin & Stacey. Pictured at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Edinburgh, Scotland.  Picture by Gary Doak / Alamy Live News
Ruth Jones is going to be in Sister Act. (Gary Doak / Alamy Live News)

What did you miss?

Ruth Jones has revealed that her fear of forgetting her lines put her off doing theatre.

The star - who is best known as Nessa in Gavin And Stacey - is playing Mother Superior on stage in the West End version of 1992 film Sister Act. It marks her West End debut and, during an appearance on The One Show, Jones explained why.

The actor admitted that she has been terrified of going blank on stage – and that it has now happened.

What, how, and why?

Opening up to host Alex Jones, she said: “My fear, and one of the reasons I haven’t done theatre for a long time, I did it in 2018 and prior to that it was 2006, is because I have a fear of forgetting my lines.

Ruth Jones had a fear of forgetting her lines. (BBC screengrab)
Ruth Jones had a fear of forgetting her lines. (BBC screengrab)

“And I am now discovering that everyone has this fear, but I just thought it was me.”

Discussing some recent performances, she said: “Everything went fine in Dublin, I really enjoyed it. But I got to this one performance, it was just me on my own singing this solo song, I completely blanked.

"I carried on singing the tune but I was just inventing words. I was going, ‘I’m losing the plot, it’s all going wrong, I really don’t know what to do’.

“I came off shaking, thinking, 'That’s it, it’s over.' But, then I got over that fear… and hopefully it will never happen to me again!”

Ruth Jones 'freaked' out over Dame Maggie Smith dream

Jones also talked about how she is taking on the character made famous by Dame Maggie Smith, and said she dreamed the acting legend told her off about making their shared character Welsh, like she is.

“Quelle surprise, she is Welsh!” Jones said, after explain she was putting her own spin on the nun.

“She moved to Philadelphia where it is set 27 years ago. And she hasn’t really lost her accent because a lot of people don’t lose their accent. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!”

SISTER ACT, Maggie Smith, 1992 (c) Buena Vista Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Dame Maggie Smith in Sister Act. (Buena Vista Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection)

She went on: “I actually had a dream that Maggie Smith said to me, ‘I hear you are playing her Welsh? No, no, no, no, no! That will not do!' It really freaked me out.”

Jones added of making her debut in Sister Act: “It was terrifying. It has been a terrifying experience. And also, you know, I am singing with Beverley Knight!”

The star went on: “All of the cast, both in the touring production and the London production, their voices are just astonishing… then muggins comes along, and it’s like, ‘Oh God’. I daren’t look at anyone to see what they are doing!”

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