PLAYING a character that’s not a million miles away from oneself is proving a real treat for Amanda Ryan.
The actress – best known as Sergeant Carrie Rogers from three series of Channel 4’s Shameless – plays Judy in the world premier of Notes to Future Self, which is being staged by Birmingham Rep at the mac next month.
The play by Lucy Caldwell promises an emotional roller-coaster of an evening, and in an added touch of authenticity is actually set in Birmingham.
Amanda’s character Judy is a free-spirited Hippy who left Birmingham at the age of 17, after becoming pregnant.
Having lived in a variety of communes and new age communities around the world, she returns to her roots with her two daughters after the younger one falls ill.
Explaining how it’s a part that’s close to home in one regard, Amanda said: “My friends and people who know me will laugh, as I am a bit of a Hippy.
“The alternative lifestyle and thinking that goes with Judy, is very similar to my own. So it is exciting to play someone I have something to say about.” Another bonus for Amanda is working with an all-female cast and a female director, Rachel Kavanaugh.
“That’s a real treat as there are very few plays with just female characters, and I really enjoy working with female directors – it is a very female experience.”
Family dynamics are at the heart of the play, as Judy confronts her relationship with her mother.
“Judy’s mum is a church-goer and quite set in her thinking, and it’s about the conflict between mother and daughter set against the backdrop of a child being sick.
“When I tell people what it is about they pull a face – but it is beautifully written.
“It is such a sad topic, but at the same time uplifting, and there’s a lot of hope.
“As you watch relationships shift, and love being expressed, it is very moving.”
* Notes to Future Self runs at the mac from March 3-12. Tickets cost £12 and concessions are available. To book call the box office on 0121 236 4455 or visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk