Melissa Allen plays one of the lead characters in Kwame Al-Armah and Oskar Eustis’ Twelfth Night, as a forlorn but charming Feste – traditionally played as a fool, and now reinterpreted as a busker in modern-day Notting Hill.
We’ve posed her 11 Questions to find out more about her and her mysterious character –
1. Can you describe your character in Twelfth Night in three words?
Playful, charming and lonely.
2. What’s your favourite thing about working with Kwame and Oskar?
The love that was brought into the rehearsal room every single day and how safe they always made us feel.
3. What fictional family would you be a member of?
The Cullen family in Twilight.
4. What can the audience expect from this production that’s different to any other versions of Twelfth Night/ Shakespeare they may have seen before?
Shaina Taubs score is awesome. Its also an extremely accessible play and there are lots of little twists that are very different from other productions. Having the chorus with us also makes this version really special.
5. What’s the strangest family tradition in your family?
My uncle gives me and my brother brussel spouts for our birthdays and Christmas every year. He’s a joker.
6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
Backcombing my hair within an inch of its life.
7. Who is your ultimate hero and what would you say to them if you ever met them?
I know it’s very cheesy but mum and dad are definitely my ultimate hero’s.
8. What was it that first got you interested in theatre?
I watched the movie version of Phantom of the Opera when I was about 12 and was obsessed. My mum and dad then took me to see it in London and I was beside myself.
9. What is your first memory of Shakespeare?
I think it would actually be watching the movie of Romeo and Juliet.
10. If your life were a movie, what genre would it be?
A Tim Burton movie.
11. Working on it! Watch this space…
Twelfth Night is at the Young Vic until November 17.