Isabel Ford- interview

Ben thinks Friday nights with granny are boring. Until he finds out her secret that is... After that, he is determined that they embark upon an important trip that truly changes their perspectives of each other, while being loads of fun on the way. Gangsta Granny is a show littered with delight, laughs and surprises, as well as a particularly touching note overall. You can read my full review of the piece here:


I also had the pleasure of chatting to the lovely Jess Nesling, who plays the Mum and Queen in the show, so you can read our interview here if you wish to:

Isabel becomes the leading lady- Gangsta Granny herself. Providing an excellently funny and heartwarming performance, she truly brings to life the character that is central to the story.

Read on to find out more...

 

Can you describe Gangsta Granny in a sentence?


It is a story about a Granny who reconnects with her 11 year old grandson whilst also going on an adventure to steal the Crown Jewels!




How did you prepare for the role and were there any challenges with this?


When not acting I’ve often had to find alternative employment. One of my other roles has been working with Age Uk. I got to meet some wonderful elderly people and hear their extraordinary stories. I also prepared by observing my 88 year old Ma... how she walks, talks and just is… the challenge has been physical. As we get older we take up less space and move at a slower pace. Things we could do in an instant can take longer when your body is no longer as agile.


This is such a sweet explanation for researching the mannerisms of the granny we see on stage.




How has it been to play the lead in a show for children- is this a different process to a regular piece?


I don’t think it’s any different to a lead role in any other show. Children’s/ family theatre should be just as good. Why should they get second best? It’s just as important. We’re so pleased when adults come and see the show and are so surprised because they’ve been thoroughly entertained and the story actually moves them.


I absolutely agree, and while there are elements directed towards the children, there is definitely some wonder and enjoyment for all in this show.




Who in the show is most like their character in real life?


That’s a good question… I suppose it could be Justin who plays Ben. Obviously he’s not 11 years old but he brings so much youth energy and charm to the role of Ben. He’s fabulous and wonderful to work with. I’m very lucky!




What has it been like touring around the country in this role?

I feel extremely privileged to be working and to have a year’s contract with BSC when recent times have been so uncertain. I love going to a new venue each week and exploring the sights and sounds. It is hard being away from my family but I get to see them each week to check in and treat them all.


Seems like overall it's a great experience then!




If you could choose anyone and any show, who would you most want to share the stage with?


Another great question! I’d love to work with Sally Hawkins… I think she’s such a brilliant actor. A comedy for sure.




What influenced you into being part of the theatre industry?


I was lucky. My family would take me to see a lot of theatre growing up and I loved watching films. I joined the local drama society and it started...


...and thank goodness it did!




And lastly, who inspires you and why?


Julie Walters, because she is incredible. She can do no wrong.


 

Thank you to Isabel for answering these, and being part of a show that brings joy to so many. Best wishes for the rest of the tour and beyond!


Make sure to get your tickets to this fantastic show at a venue near you:

{Some grammar is amended for clarity}