Wednesday 21 August 2019

Suranne Jones: Why I quit West End play Frozen

The actress won a Bafta for her role in Doctor Foster in 2016.

Suranne Jones (Ian West/PA)
Suranne Jones (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Suranne Jones has told how she lost her “inner light” before pulling out of West End play Frozen.

The Doctor Foster star, 40, quit the production last year, citing illness and saying the subject matter of the show, a mother whose daughter is kidnapped, was “deeply affecting”.

She has now told The Guardian how her mother’s death, after suffering from vascular dementia, had taken its toll.

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Suranne Jones as Anne Lister (left) and Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker in Gentleman Jack, on BBC1 (Matt Squire/BBC)

“I’d been feeling edgy, nervous around people, not being able to converse properly,” the Bafta-winning star said.

“Being in the theatre didn’t help. I don’t think theatre was the cause, but I think it heightened it. You’ve got a 1,000-seater full of people staring at you.”

During one matinee, the former Coronation Street star collapsed backstage and was replaced by an understudy, the newspaper said.

“You try and resist what’s happening, keep working… And in the end something gives. I think that’s what happened,” Jones added.

She took time off before reading for her role in a new BBC One biopic of Anne Lister in the period drama Gentleman Jack.

The actress told the newspaper: “With every new job now, I’ll consider the psychological side… the content, which I maybe didn’t do before. I’ll need to know that I can live in that place for a period of time.”

Asked what she has learned from the last year, she said: “That the inner light, the inner confidence, can go out of all of us… and if you lose it personally, that inner thing, you can’t put it out professionally – cos that’s where it all comes from, inside you.”

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