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Lillie Flynn: ‘Acting in a kid-friendly show is a new, amazing experience’

Lillie Flynn

Lillie Flynn has worked mostly in musical theatre, and juggles her career as an actor with one as a musician. She talks to Georgia Snow about performing in Sam Holcroft’s adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox [1], which is running at the Lyric Hammersmith after premiering at Nuffield Southampton Theatres last year…

How are you finding the experience of performing in this show?

This is quite a new experience for a lot of us. For me personally, it’s the first show I’ve done that’s kid-friendly. It’s amazing having all these kids in the audience, and hearing them laughing and trying to talk to the other characters. I think it’s probably quite different to what people have in their heads as to what Fantastic Mr Fox is. Tom Scutt, the designer, and our director Maria Aberg wanted to shake things up a bit, so it perhaps doesn’t look how you’d imagine. It seems to be going down a real treat.

Is it a departure from the kind of work you have done in the past?

I wouldn’t say it was a departure, no, but this job in particular is quite different to anything I’ve done. Most shows I’ve done in the past, there’s alway been a bit of swearing and what have you, so it is the first show I have done that I can invite my five-year-old nephew to. It sounds really cheesy, but you do learn a lot from having a different audience coming to the theatre to see something. Especially now, a lot of children’s shows are not necessarily just for children. You notice it a lot with kids films from Pixar and Disney. There is something that reaches out to adults, and we’re finding it a lot more in theatre I think. Also, parents have to bring their kids to the theatre, so it’s important to entertain them, too.

Was acting always the plan for you?

I kind of don’t really know anything else. A lot of my family are actors, and my dad was an actor, so there was no real question about it I don’t think. My brother Johnny and I are musicians as well, so I am in his band and I do that alongside acting.

How do you use that in your acting work?

Quite a lot of the musicals I have done haven’t been big song-and-dance musicals. The script is really the key thing for me with any show. If I fall in love with the script, that’s what does it.

Do you think there are more opportunities for actor-musicians now than there once were?

Absolutely. The fact that more and more drama schools are creating actor-musician courses shows that it’s becoming such a thing. When I saw Ed Hall’s productions of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew – my brother was in that – that was the first time I had seen actor-musicians and it worked so well. It just feeds the show even more, it’s so enjoyable to watch.

CV: Lillie Flynn

Training: Central School of Speech and Drama, 2004-2007
First professional role: War of the Worlds tour (2007)
Agent: United Agents

Fantastic Mr Fox runs at the Lyric Hammersmith [2] until February 19, before a UK tour