Some may remember Pauline Quirke as one third of Birds Of A Feather that dominated our TV screens in the 1990s, and some may recognise her more recently as the devious and mysterious Susan Wright in the popular series, Broadchurch.
Either way she’s heading back to her roots, along with Lesley Joseph and Linda Robson, in the stage adaption of Birds Of A Feather, which comes to the Mayflower, Southampton, from tonight until Saturday.
In the middle of a 14-week tour, she’s loving being on the stage.
Pauline says: ‘We are getting old hands at it all now. We did a seven or eight-week tour last year and had two weeks of rehearsals before we got on the stage.
‘We never thought after we finished the series in 1999 of opening it on stage, and it has been a long gap.
‘But it feels like the most natural thing in the world. We are more confident in this tour because I was pretty nervous last year.’
The Birds Of A Feather tour went around the UK in 2011 and 2012, and it was Pauline’s first time on stage.
She explains: ‘I’d never done theatre before, apart from a pantomime about 25 years ago. I wanted to see if I could do it so I made the decision. Leslie and Linda were saying “you’ll never get Pauline in theatre.”
‘I wanted to have a go and prove to myself I could do it. It was a great script from the original writers so it just all fell into place. The three of us were all available so we were like, right then, let’s just do the tour.
‘Every performance is different because every audience is different.’
She adds: ‘We’ve also learnt what to do if something goes wrong, and believe me it does, so we know we have each other’s support.’
This time round her 18-year-old son Charlie is also part of the cast playing Travis, and she’s glad to have him nearby. ‘It’s lovely to have him here with me on stage.’
Pauline most recently starred on our TV screens in ITV’s Broadchurch starring David Tennant and Olivia Coleman. Pulling in more than six million viewers a week, it kept the nation transfixed to find out who killed Danny Latimer. And Pauline’s character Susan was a prime suspect.
She says: ‘It really was a big TV event and I’m quite relieved that the eighth episode has been aired. I was dreading what would happen if I told someone, and Lesley and Linda kept asking me.
‘It was lovely that people got into it as much as they did and they stuck with it. I’m very proud of it. I only read the first script but I knew it was going to be something special.’
Tickets: £23.50 to £27.50 from the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, on (023) 8071 1811 or go to mayflower.org.uk.