13 Jun Sarah Madigan by Clare
You know me as producer (or ‘herder of kittens’) but one of my many other hats is running the John Thaw Foundation; a small Foundation set up by John shortly before he died and now run by his widow Sheila Hancock.
Its main remit is to help disadvantaged and underprivileged children & young people but it has also in the past helped some students with their training. Within that, we had a bursary at LAMDA and Sarah Madigan was one of the students they selected for us. I always try to get to know our bursary students, both on and off stage, and it’s always heartening to then see them go off into the professional world. The first time I met Sarah I was struck by what a warm, funny, passionately committed woman she was, as well as being a terrific performer; and when we decided to make Strangeness in Space I had an inkling that if I introduced her to Trev & Simon and Sophie they would immediately see what I saw … and they did. Sophie was very excited at the idea of giving a regular role to someone new to the Industry, and Trev & Simon instantly decided to tweak the role of ‘The Computer’ to suit her … and so Computer Voice became M.A.D.I in her honour. Which of course then led to an hilarious brainstorm of possible acronyms and she eventually became Monographic Announcement & Description Interface (I need to credit Trev with coming up with the winning one, but I suspect that if you challenged him on the spot he’d struggle to remember it in full now!)
She has been tremendous to work with – we do have a lot of fun on this but it is hard work and we do work on god-awful budgets so we really do need a team with upbeat, can-do attitudes. And she comes with buckets of that.
Sarah with Doon Mackichan, me, Sophie and Simon, Barnaby Edwards,Sophie (Christmas)
Here’s Sarah in Out of The Cage, one of her first jobs out of Drama School and a really interesting piece about the young women who worked making military supplies — notably TNT – during World War 1. The girls were nicknamed the ‘canary girls’ on account of the yellowing of their skin, resulting from prolonged contact with Sulphur. In January 1917 an explosion at the Silvertown premises of the company Brunner Mond killed 73 women and injured roughly 400. It was not an isolated incident.
Out of The Cage Production Photos: Park 90, Park Theatre. Photo Credit : Richard Davenport
She followed that with a lovely performance in V.P, a short film from Take Cover Films selected for the Raindance in 2015; and here’s Sarah in conversation with David Annen (Jeremy) about The Play That Went Wrong, in the West End.
I asked Sarah a couple of questions:-
Have you a favourite episode? It’s genuinely hard to pick a favourite! Every episode has so many hilarious moments and performances I love. Episode 3 is really terrific. The Pink Custard back catalogue and the sassiness/bickering between Bounty and Jeremy always make me laugh.
What’s it been like working with the team? A dream! I’ve just laughed from start from finish. It’s been such a fun experience getting to watch these brilliant performances in the studio and getting to try and make people laugh.
Favourite moment from recording? Again, it’s so hard to pick! David Annen (Jeremy) saying ‘Strangeness in Spaaaaace’ in a million different ways had me crying with laughter. It should be it’s own episode. Seeing Doon (Bounty) and Barnaby (L.E.M.O.N) recording was like watching a masterclass! Watching Trev, Simon and Sophie record the farting sequence in Episode 2 was surreal and brilliant – a GAS, even!
What would you like to see happen in the story or to the series? I’d like to get to the dramatic Episode 15 that we saw briefly in Episode 3! Maybe M.A.D.I and L.E.M.O.N join forces and revolt!
A line about the fans supporting it? It’s been an amazing project to work on, especially because there is so much support from the fans. It’s like they’re the extra character in the room when you’re recording so you’re constantly on this strange journey together as the story and character’s develop. It’s been a lovely experience.