Mud, mud – it’s certainly glorious for Hayley...

MUDDY COWS Hayley Tamaddon
MUDDY COWS Hayley Tamaddon
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You’d have thought an experienced TV actress and a winner of Dancing on Ice would be past getting nervous.

Try telling that to Hayley Tamaddon.

The Bispham girl is performing in her first ever play. She’s landed a part in John Godber’s Muddy Cows, the story of a women’s rugby team, in a cast of six alongside the likes of Abi Titmuss and Amy Thompson.

It is on in Scarborough until August 31, then heads to Stoke and Hull.

But despite being a former star of Emmerdale and musicals like Grease and Mamma Mia, 36-year-old Hayley says getting on stage isn’t easy.

“I’ve never done a play before in my life. This is my first one and I have been really nervous,” she explained.

“I’ve done musical after musical and tele and everything else, but not a play and it is very different. For one thing you’re on stage all the time – in a musical you sing a song and then go off for 10 minutes!

“The theatre in Scarborough is round so the audience is sat in a circle and if you go wrong, everyone sees it.

“I’ve a really chunky part and my character is very energetic so there is no room for mistakes.

“But I’m having a ball and it is great doing a John Godber play because I read his first play when I was about 13 at my little drama club in Blackpool. My teacher Margaret Burton gave me it to read, and when I’d finished I said ‘right, I want to meet him’. So when I did meet John I was overwhelmed. It is great to be working with him.”

Hayley’s character in the play is called Amber, a solicitor by day, rugby player by night. “But she only goes for the drink and to get wasted every night ... it’s not a bad role to play really!” said Hayley.

“The first half of the play is about the girls raising money to keep the team going, which means my character dresses up as a French maid and goes out fundraising with a bucket. The second half is us entering a tournament. I won’t give the ending away because there’s a bit of a twist but it is very, very funny and yet really moving in places, which is lovely.”

Hayley describes being on stage as tough but rewarding, But it doesn’t sound as if she’ll get the chance to put her feet up when the play’s run ends.

“I am going to be busy for the rest of the year,” she said. “I can’t tell you with what yet but I have got something very good coming up. It’s a TV project.

“After that who knows. It would be nice to keep mixing and matching, doing a bit of tele and a bit of theatre.

“I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to do that because this business is hard. One minute you are in work and you don’t stop, the next you’re sat around for four months thinking ‘oh my god, what am I going to do? How do I pay the bills?’”

Hayley now lives in London but has rented an apartment in Scarborough while she’s starring in the play.

“I think it is important when away from home you stay somewhere you feel safe and happy ” she said. “And I’m not too far from Blackpool, I’ve been home a couple of times to see my folks and they are coming over soon to see the play.

“Why haven’t they seen it yet? I wanted to settle in a bit before they came – the first week’s stressful enough without my family being there!”

If you fancy making the trek to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough to see Hayley, tickets are available from www.sjt.uk.com or by calling (01723) 370541.