Q&A: Kerri Quinn
The 31-year-old Belfast actress is bringing a chill to the MAC theatre as one of the stars of stage comedy Baby It's Cold Outside, directed by playwright Martin Lynch
So, tell us what this new play's all about?
There's only one male and three females, and I play Patsy, whose lover is Sally. Patsy's pregnant with Joe's child... or so you think. They all get stuck in this house in a mad blizzard and, obviously, Patsy goes into labour and they have to deliver the baby. It's really fast and really pacey.
How would you describe Patsy, and what's she like to play?
Patsy has some mouth on her, so I want to do her well! It's been done before with a different cast, so I want to make my mark in this production. It's the first time I've ever had to play a gay character. The difficulty from my point of view is that Patsy's heavily pregnant the whole way through it. I've had a baby myself, though, so I know how uncomfortable it gets!
Do you find it tough juggling motherhood with a busy acting schedule?
My wee girl, Libby, is two years old and it's very tough when you're double-jobbing, but she's great. And when a show's up and running, you're just working in the evenings.
Playwright Martin Lynch is directing the production. What's he like to work with?
I've been lucky enough to have worked with Martin quite a few times. He knows what he wants and has a great energy. He and writer Brenda Murphy make such a great team. It had a short rehearsal process, so everything was moving really really fast.
Did you find it difficult to make the break into acting in Northern Ireland?
It took quite a long time. Over here there's work, but there are also a lot of people looking for work. I found the first couple of years really difficult. I have an agent, but you're never done approaching theatres. You need to sell yourself and remind people you're there.
What's been your favourite role to date and what was your first acting part?
There have been so many roles I've enjoyed. I played Dee in Huzzies, with Tinderbox Theatre, and it was so frightening, because it was a monster of a play. I had to play the drums and be part of a band! Patsy has been another monster part. The first professional show I did was down South. I played Maria in West Side Story with an amateur company.
Do you have a dream role that you aspire to play in the future?
Velma Kelly in Chicago – that's always been my dream part. And Lady Macbeth.
What are your plans after Baby, it's Cold Outside?
After this, I'm going into a show with Cahoots NI Children's Theatre, called Nivelli's War. I'm playing a couple of roles in that.
It's my first time working with Cahoots, so I'm so excited. I haven't seen the script yet but it's a beautiful children's story. I can't wait!
Baby, It's Cold Outside is at the MAC, Belfast, until February 9. For details, visit www.themac.com