Theatre & Arts

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Broadway's bright lights for Ripper Street star Charlene

Fiona Gribben

Published 12/07/2014|07:23

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Charlene McKenna

RIPPER Street actress Charlene McKenna is preparing for a permanent relocation to New York ahead of her Broadway theatre debut next March.

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The petite star is to appear in Richard Eyre's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic Ghosts.

Charlene played Regina, maidservant to the lead character in the award-winning production which was a success at London's Trafalgar Studios earlier this year until its run ended in March.

"I was doing the show in the West End before Ripper Street started filming again and now we are transferring to New York in the spring," she said.

"I can't wait, its amazing as I was planning to move there anyway so the play coming over too is a big help."

The 30-year-old has some family in the city but said that making new friends would be all part of the experience.

"Other than one particular cousin that I'm very close to, I'll just have to rent a crowd, perhaps go on that search engine Craigslist and look for friends," she joked.

For the moment Charlene is based in Dublin, busy filming the third series of Ripper Street in which she plays former prostitute Rose Erskine.

"It's brilliant to back filming, I'm really enjoying how my character Rose is developing and I think the third series is fantastic," she said.

Earlier this year the show was embroiled in controversy when it was axed by the BBC after reportedly poor audience figures resulting in part from sound quality issues in the second series.

The production set in London's Whitechapel in 1889, six months after the gruesome Jack the Ripper Murders, was saved by online retailer Amazon who has funded the third series.

"The whole rift and hoo-ha over whether or not it was going to be brought back made everyone in the cast fully appreciate how much we all loved it and that's given filming a new energy," explained the star.

"It was definitely a big mistake but it will be back on the BBC thankfully."

The actress, who made her name in RTE drama Raw, has remained tight-lipped on her current romance with Ripper Street co-star Adam Rothenburg.

The American actor, (38) who plays Captain Homer Jackson, has been seen in the past few months, walking hand-in-hand with the brunette actress in Dublin.

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