A dream role for Skins actress
SIWAN Morris’ favourite memories of Shakespeare come from the pub.
The Glynneath actress is appearing in Clwyd Theatre Cymru’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Cardiff this week.
But when she first moved to London in pursuit of acting fame she took a part-time job at her local, The Shakespeare in Stoke Newington.
“It’s a great pub with a great jukebox and I always go back there whenever I’m in London,” says the actress who starred in Swansea-set sitcom Mine All Mine and appeared in C4’s hit series Skins.
“It was a great way to meet people when I was new in London and that’s how I got to know all my gang of friends really.
“But the job got really boring because it was a Sunday shift and I always wanted to have a few drinks with my mates when I was supposed to be working.”
Morris stuck out the Sunday shift for a year but her talent soon took her away to the stage and screen where she has earned a reputation for strong dramatic work.
Her previous Shakespeare experience includes the heavyweight King Lear while she has also played Catherine Holly, a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, in Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer.
“A lot of the characters I play tend to be quite dramatic so it’s nice to be doing something a bit more light-hearted,” she says of her roles as Hippolyta and Titania in the comedy favourite.
“The most dramatic thing that happens to me in this play is that Titania has a minor argument with Oberon so it’s a complete contrast to my usual roles.”
It’s a far cry from her role as Ceri, the bitchy owner of a trendy Cardiff Bay noodle bar in snappy young Welsh soap Caerdydd.
It’s even further miles from the nude shower scene of Skins in which she plays Angie, a teacher who has an affair with a pupil.
Does she consciously choose edgy characters or has it been coincidence?
“Probably a bit of both,” she responds quickly. “I tend to be good at characters who have been on some kind of emotional journey, I don’t know why but I find that easier to emote, to get into their character.
“I’ve probably been searching a bit too hard for these characters because they are so straightforward.”
Morris enjoys a strong profile in Wales but her work has paid dividends further afield and she is currently awaiting the decision on an audition that would take her back to London and further boost her fame.
“I think Mine All Mine was very good for my profile because it made people think ‘oh she can actually do it in a lead role’ and then Skins lifted me further beyond that,” said the Canton-based actress.
“The thing is, people don’t see the disappointments, the rejections, they just see you on TV and think ‘she’s doing well for herself’.
“I was disappointed we didn’t get a second series of Mine All Mine and I was disappointed to not get more involvement in the second series of Skins.
“They decided they didn’t want the character she was having an affair with to be tied down in a relationship.
“But the Skins team were great to work with. It certainly did my profile a lot of good, and I’m chuffed because my career is going in the right direction.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is at The New theatre Cardiff from tomorrow until Saturday. Tickets cost £7-£23 from 029 2087 8889.