Leading Lady Jude Downing shares with us her thoughts on her newest role as Lord Arthur in the upcoming production of Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Constance Cox, based on a short story by Oscar Wilde. Previous to this Jude has delighted audiences at the Little Theatre with her roles in Progressive Players productions; Hannah in Little Women (April 2019) and Angela in My Brilliant Divorce (January 2022). Jude has also taken on a variety of backstage roles including Stage Manager for our September 2022 play, The Wasp.
Nobody could accuse the Progressive Players of being afraid to push the boundaries or not providing the most incredible ways for members to step completely outside of their comfort zone! I’ve been a member for a little under four years, (but we lost one of those due to a certain virus!) and in that time I’ve worked behind the bar, sold ice creams, played a couple of smaller parts, performed a one woman show, been stage manager… and then came the opportunity to play Lord Arthur. A very plummy 30-year-old man. As a 52-year-old Gateshead Mam I knew this was going to be a real challenge! I’m not one to shy away from a challenge so I was delighted when I was asked to play this part! It’s a play based (loosely) on a short story by Oscar Wilde. It has all the sharp wit and fantastic characters expected from Mr Wilde, and Lord Arthur is a superb part to bring to life! I’m playing the part as a man, and have been practising ‘man-spreading’ and will be endeavouring to minimise my 34 GGs! I hope that when people come to see the show they’ll forget I’m a woman, that I can become Lord Arthur in their minds and do full justice to this wonderful farce!