LoveLincoln.co.uk caught up with Andrew Dunn in the run up to the dinnerladies performance at the Lincoln Theatre Royal. Andrew brings his loveable character Tony to the stage, 10 years on from when the original BBC sitcom was aired, on 1 – 3 July.
What’s it like being involved in the national tour of dinnerladies?
It’s been really good, it goes down really well in theatres and you can’t beat the reaction we’ve had from the live audiences.
Did you ever think that the original programme would become as popular as it did?
I hoped it would be popular; it was Victoria and her cohorts like Julie Walters and they were just fantastic. The first series actually got mixed reviews and it wasn’t until the second series that it really took off.
People warmed to dinnerladies and the characters and I think people actually watch it more now than when it first came out now that it’s repeated on G.O.L.D. I think the age range has changed as well; there are a lot of kids watching it now that weren’t even born when it was first popular!
What do you enjoy most as an actor/actress?
The variation. I’ve always wanted to be an actor. I could never imagine myself in one job all my life, I enjoy being in a workplace that varies.
It’s nice meeting new people too but there is a downside to it I suppose which is the worry about what the next job will be when you’re out of work.
There’s nothing better than when you couldn’t be happier than when you are at work and you don’t want it to end. It’s ideal really.
What’s it like reprising your role as Tony? What do you enjoy about the character?
I’m known for Tony really. I still get people stopping me in the street and asking me about him. It feels nice and familiar and I love the buzz when I’m performing in a theatre.
What’s it like working with different actors/actresses compared to the original cast from the BBC show?
The cast have been very good, there have been three changes in cast and everybody who’s come in has done really well and got on with everyone else. Sue and I are just flabbergasted by how much they’re like the original BBC cast.
Especially Laura Shepherd, the lady that plays Bren, she’s fantastic. Her mannerisms and everything are so similar to Victoria Wood – who originally played Bren – it’s bizarre.
You’ve had experience with both screen and stage acting, what’s your favourite and why?
Well I don’t compare the two to be honest, they’re completely different experiences.
I enjoy both, I love the technical side of film, the stopping and starting and getting the chance to redo it until you get it right, but you can’t beat a live audience, you get instant feedback from them and there’s a big buzz around theatres that creates a great atmosphere.
Have you ever been to Lincoln before?
I have! I was performing in a play called September in the Rain in 1989 – or 1988 – I can’t remember now it was a long time ago! Lincoln is lovely, I especially love the cathedral and Steep Hill area and I’m looking forward to performing in the Theatre Royal. That’s the good thing about touring; you get to spend time in some beautiful parts of the country that you don’t usually get the chance to enjoy.