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Interview: Kerry Burley // Guys and Dolls

Our final interview with the leading ladies and gentlemen of Guys and Dolls is with our very own Mission Doll, Sergeant Sarah Brown played by the incomparable star of the Glasgow theatre scene, Kerry Burley.

Miss Sarah Brown (Kerry Burley)

Describe Sergeant Sarah Brown in three words?

Principled, passionate, utterly-discombobulated-(by-Sky)...

What similarities and differences have you found between you and Sarah?

Similarities? Well, I do seem to be sporting an invisible (at least to me) neon sign proclaiming 'get your advice here'... There are a lot of very misguided people who think I'm capable of providing some form of coherent wisdom on life. Frankly, they've be better off going to the Save-A-Soul Mission. Also, we both do a lot of public speaking, although I'm not entirely sure how well shouting 'repent' at 15-year olds with behavioural issues would go down.

Differences? She's a soprano and I'm not... Well, not a real one. That and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ELSE about the character - never been up at 4am before? Please! Never had a drink? Don't make me laugh. On a serious note, mostly her conviction. She's pretty sure about who she is and what she believes. I can't even keep track of some opinions they change so often!

What is your favourite thing about Sarah?

I love her feistiness with Sky when they initially meet. In spite of being utterly thrown by her response to him, she still manages to keep the upper hand with some tacit remarks and excellent passive-aggressive use of his full name. 'Mr Masterson' is so much fun to say. Miiiiiister Maaahsterson... You can hear the nose in the air!

What is your favourite part of rehearsing Guys and Dolls so far?

So many moments it's difficult to choose. But you can't beat a good sing with a bunch of good singers though. The first time we sang Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat I could feel a wee crackle in the air.

What is it like playing romantically opposite Andi Denny (playing Sky Masterson)?

Andi is just... well... I LOVE (slapping) him. Total thrill to work with someone who understands dialogue and can deliver lines with insight. And he's very cuddly! We've known each other a long time, so I was delighted when we were cast as Sarah and Sky. We spend a lot of time laughing about wildly inappropriate things. He's also taller than me. By a whole inch. And he's strong - he can carry me effortlessly, which is impressive! He also has a thing for my husband, which weirdly makes things less weird... Weird...? Feeling awkward yet Andi?

Kerry Burley in rehearsal

What have you found the most challenging aspect of playing Sarah?

The most challenging thing about playing Sarah has, frankly, been trying to make her likeable. She goes from superior to hubristic to cold before rum helps her to display any kind of warmth at the end of Act 1. Sky is so charming, I anticipate many eye-rolls from the audience over her behaviour in the first couple of scenes.

What has been the biggest challenge of the show so far?

Weirdly, although it's usually my comfort zone, the singing! This is the first 'non-character' role I've played in about 10 years, and I've had to rediscover my own natural singing voice to play Sarah. No shouting, no screaming, no singing tenor range - it has been an interesting and unexpected challenge. (And we think you've rose to the challenge, and are fabulous Kerry. Love, The Production Team)

Can you share a funny rehearsal story?

None that translate well onto the page really... One that springs to mind is the time Andi and I kissed and he complemented me on the lovely moist lip-gloss I WASN'T wearing. Yeah, it was just drool!

Nathan lies to Adelaide a lot. What is the biggest lie you have ever told?

Ha! So many... Of those that are palatable? I stayed in Luxembourg for a while aged 16 and we used to sing 'Happy Birthday' in bars and restaurants to get free drinks and desserts. I still feel horrible about it.

What is the most outrageous or outlandish excuse you've given to get out of doing something?

'I have rehearsal'. Not outlandish or extreme, but highly plausible and usually very true. (For us too Kerry, for us too!)

Finally, why should people come to see the show?

It's a great small-scale production of a total classic. Great musical numbers, talented cast, quirky dialogue and basically good, clean, 'smile so much your face will hurt' fun. Also, I'm playing an Evangelist, not a prostitute. It must be seen in person to be believed!

Miss Sarah Brown (Kerry Burley)

Don't miss your chance to see Kerry take on the challenge of Sergeant Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls next week. Limited availability tickets - visit our Box Office now to secure yours.

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