Blackpool’s Jodie Prenger finally knows she’s made the big time. “I’ve got a really posh dressing room these days,” she says from her current base in the West End where she is appearing in the smash hit play One Man, Two Guvnors. “I used to think I was lucky if I got changed in the disabled toilet!”
She’s thrilled to be in one of the most praised productions in recent years – but will taking a week out of her London commitments to appear in it when it visits Blackpool Grand Theatre at the end of November.
“I got a call from the National Theatre whilst I was in Spamalot and I thought it was a wind up at first,” she laughs. “These are the same people that audition Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellan but they made me feel so much at home. It was an experience I’ll remember all my life.”
Of the play itself he says: “It’s brilliant. Full of one-liners you’ll remember until the day you die with a definite seaside feel to it. I’ve never heard audiences laugh like they do at this. They’re literally roaring. If you like stand up you’ll love this.”
As for her role of Dolly she says: “She’s a man-eating northern woman … no wonder I got the part!”
She’d already fallen in love with the play so jumped at the chance to be in it.
“I’m actually a bit shy at times and it takes a lot to make me laugh in public but I was crying with laughter when I saw this. It’s great to be part of such a wonderful team.”
Her Blackpool week is “a chance to catch up my family, my fella and my dog. I miss them all and it’s always good to come home – I think it’s the only time they come to the theatre so there’s a box office boost too.”
She’s signed up until January next year but still deputising for the likes of Paul O’Grady and Elaine Paige on Radio 2.
“It’s confusing at times - a bit like One Woman, 10 Jobs,” she says.
So what ambitions are left?
“I’d love to be in Coronation Street and eventually something like Gypsy or Hello Dolly but my career’s a bit like a bag of liquorice Allsorts, I never know what’s going to come out next.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes. Two weeks before I started in this I was at a function in Buckingham Palace and I met the Queen. Then two weeks later she came to the show - it was like the roles had ben reversed. Then my absolute idol Liza Minnelli came and I was so excited I was crying like a drag queen leaving Funny Girls without her wig!”