Siân Phillips is currently starring in Frantic Assembly's theatre production Lovesong, and has called it the "most wonderful experience" that she's had in decades.

Welsh actor Siân spoke to Radio Wales Arts Show presenter Nicola Heywood Thomas about her career and her role in the production that is running at the recently revamped Sherman Cymru in Cardiff.

Siân Phillips in Lovesong. Photo: Johan Persson

Lovesong is written by Cardiff-born screenwriter Abi Morgan, whose recent screenplay credits include The Iron Lady and the BBC adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong.

The story entwines a couple in their 20s with the same man and woman a lifetime later. Their past and present selves collide in the play, which looks at the beginning and ending of the couple's long relationship.

Sam Cox (Billy) and Siân Phillips (Maggie) in Frantic Assembly's Lovesong. Photo: Johan Persson

Frantic Assembly's physical style of theatre combines movement,dance, design, music and text. Siân spoke to Nicola about the physical nature of the company, and how it affected her role:

"It's not something I ever thought I'd get a chance to do because, obviously, Frantic Assembly is physical theatre," she said.

"Normally, ordinarily, they work with young people. So at my age I never thought I would be in a physical theatre company.

"So when they did look as if they wanted me I jumped at it. And it's been the most wonderful experience I've had in decades.

"Looking back I can't remember when I was in such an extraordinary and interesting show. Not just doing the show, but being part of that sort of company, it's completely different for me.

Sam Cox and Siân Phillips in Frantic Assembly's Lovesong. Photo: Johan Persson

"I've learnt so much. I've realised that you can express something in a movement or with pictures or with music that would take pages of text to convey. And I've learnt a lot about how you move and what's interesting and what tells the story and what doesn't.

"I was a bit alarmed the first day I turned up for work, they said 'bring old clothes' and then they said 'OK, we'll start with the press-ups'. It was a bit like being in the army... rehearing was rugged!"

Lovesong also stars Sam Cox, Leanne Rowe and Edward Bennett and runs until Saturday 18 February.

Listen to Nicola's Radio Wales Arts Show interview with Siân on the BBC iPlayer for the next six days.

For more information on Lovesong and to book tickets visit the Sherman Cymru website.


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