A fun character that TV’s Liza can relate to

Robert Powell, Lisa Goddard, Lindsey Campbell and Antony Eden in Relatively Speaking
Robert Powell, Lisa Goddard, Lindsey Campbell and Antony Eden in Relatively Speaking

TV favourite Liza Goddard is co-starring with Robert Powell in Alan Ayckbourn’s farce Relatively Speaking this week.

Here she answers some questions about the show,

How would you sum up your character?

Sheila is a lovely, kind woman who is also a little bit sad. She’s one of those women where she and her husband Philip don’t have children and she’s left at home all week while he’s up in town.

She tries to make a lovely home and everything for him but there’s a slight suspicion he might be up to something with someone else but she doesn’t really know.

He doesn’t seem to want to take her with him when he goes on business trips.

What do you most relish about playing her?

What’s lovely about Sheila and Greg [who is at their home with his girlfriend Ginny and mistakes Philip and Sheila for her parents] is that they’re the two innocents in the story.

At times it’s like she has just fallen down the rabbit hole into Wonderland because things are not making any sense whatsoever but she just carries on gamely – ‘Yes, stay for lunch, lovely’. She just sort of rolls with it, which is brilliant.

They never really say who they are so she thinks ‘They must have turned up here for some reason’.

Is there anything of you in the character?

Of course. That’s all you’ve got – your physicality and yourself. But the thing about Ayckbourn is it’s all there in the lines so the trick is learning them. As for being like Sheila, I like to cook, make things nice for people, entertain them and feed them.

You and Robert Powell, who plays Philip, have worked together many times. How is it being reunited?

It’s that thing of working with someone you’ve known a very long time. You feel safe with them on stage because you’re on the same wavelength, you work in a similar way and you understand what each other is talking about.

Also at our great age we also know who each other is talking about. If it’s about Laurence Olivier you know exactly who that is.

Does the Sheffield Lyceum have a special significance for you?

I haven’t played there for a long time but it’s a very beautiful theatre in a nice part of Sheffield.

Also it’s rather lovely because you’re sort of linked to the Crucible so after the show you go round to the Crucible bar and meet people who are performing there. It’s all rather jolly.

n The show runs at the Lyceum this week until Saturday.