We Meet Aimee Barrett, Josie in The Little Match Girl
Part in Hans Christian Andersen story makes for her perfect Christmas
She loves Hans Christian Andersen and her nan and granddad can come and see it - it's the perfect Christmas for Aimee Barrett.
Getting a part in the Little Match Girl at the Tabard Theatre is a dream come true. For the past three Christmases she's been away performing so couldn't spend time with her family.
But this year is different, her grandparents are visiting from Spain and as she wants to be with them, she decided not to take on any Christmas parts. Then she saw in Spotlight that the Tabard was casting for The Little Match Girl - perfect for Aimee who says loves Hans Christian Andersen and the story - so she called her agent and the rest is history. Now, she can work, spend Christmas Day with her family and importantly, they can all come and see her.
It's not her first time at the Tabard, she was part of a little show there when she was in year nine but she can't remember much about it.
Now she plays Josie, the woman who lives with the Little Match Girl's bullying father. It's the part Twiggy played in the film version in 1986. It's a feisty role, the sort that and Aimee likes to get stuck into. She said,"I didn’t know much about Josie only that she was a tough broad. It's an amazing part, and her song An Ordinary Life is an amazing one, it's the song I've been waiting for. It's a big ballad, everything in Josie's head is coming out, she's having a breakdown but she's still staying strong, which is what I love about her".
And she's made her mark on the production in another way. Director Keith Strachan wanted to add some dance routines and he told the company he was going to hire a movement director but he later met with Aimee and as a result she is making her professional debut in the role. She's rather proud of that and why not?
If Aimee looks familiar it's because she grew up here after her family moved to Chiswick from Brentford, attending Strand on the Green school then Arts Ed. When she as 16 she told her mother she wanted to go to drama school rather than do A levels. She's known that she wanted to act since she was four when she performed at family Christmas parties. Her mother agreed, and she went to the Urdang Academy. She loved that time and the feeling of independence she felt travelling into Central London every day.
Surprisingly, after graduating, work was slow, with only a few workshops and Cinderella in Bury St Edmunds, so she found a new agent and things really took off with television parts including Casualty and Silent Witness. She also appeared in an American show called Obsession: Dark Desires on Discovery ID.
Chiswick has changed since she's been away, for the better in her opinion. She loves the modern bars, especially the Fire Station and thinks the beer has improved in all the pubs. And she appreciates it more now. "In the old days", she says, "Chiswick was somewhere to eat and drink but not a going out place, I'd go into Central London for that. But now, I'm just happy to be by the river with my dog and boyfriend."
And she has no illusions about the profession, being very philosophical about it. "Acting isn't about big breaks it's an ongoing journey", she said. "The big breaks can come, every actor has a few big breaks I've had my first little spurt of them, but the journey's about comings and goings and bits and pieces. I've done some improvisation this year which I love as it helps me as an actress. I've got a big break coming up and that's in the future"
And she's loves working at the Tabard, saying she prefers small theatres because they're more intimate and it's easier to get the story across. So right now, she's very happy.
November 24, 2017