Wales

Ruth Jones 'haunted' by Gavin and Stacey question

Ruth Jones in The Nightingales
Image caption Ruth Jones is back on stage after last appearing in Educating Rita at Cardiff's Sherman Theatre in 2006

She's back on stage with a new play - but Ruth Jones said she is terrified of forgetting her lines.

After a 12-year break from the theatre, the Welsh actress is starring in The Nightingales in Cardiff.

But she has been tempted to revert to her Gavin and Stacey character Nessa while on stage.

"The other day somebody's mobile phone went off in the theatre and I was tempted then to go 'Oh!' - but I didn't," she told Good Morning Wales.

"Nessa was a brilliant character and I love her still. Very occasionally I will resort to her when I'm getting annoyed, like 'Oh, love! Back off!' - I do love doing that."

Although the much-loved character remains close to her heart, the 52-year-old actress and writer says she is frustrated by repeatedly being asked if the award-winning comedy is making a comeback.

She told Good Morning Wales presenter Oliver Hides: "When I was driving in I was listening to you and you said 'of course, we're going to ask her if there's any more Gavin and Stacey' and I sort of started banging my head against the steering wheel.

"It haunts me because if somebody asks you a question and you give the answer you think 'that's it, I've answered that question', but no, it keeps being asked again and again and again.

"Of course it's a huge compliment that people love Gavin and Stacey so much and I am really flattered that they do. But, once again, no there is no more Gavin and Stacey!

Image caption Ruth Jones plays the newcomer to a village choir in the comedy The Nightingales

"What's lovely is that it seems to be kind of family viewing. A lot of people who've been to see the play bring DVDs to sign and they all say 'I watch it with my family and it seems to be now there's younger people who weren't even maybe born when it went out, or were little kids.

"It must be in lots of ways quite dated, things like if you look at the mobile phones we were using then and the fact that we were smoking in the pub."

Jones last appeared on stage 12 years ago in a production of Educating Rita in Cardiff.

Her new play opens in Cardiff's New Theatre on Monday until 24 November, as part of a tour which has already been to Bath and Cambridge. The show is also expected to run in the West End.

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Media captionRuth Jones says there is a new generation enjoying re-runs of Gavin and Stacey

But the star revealed she was "terrified" of forgetting her lines during her return to the stage.

"It's quite a scary prospect not having been on stage for 12 years and just that fear of 'will I remember any lines at all or will I just be staring out at this massive mass of faces and trying to think of something to say?'

"It's a very different discipline doing something live. It's brilliant and it's thrilling and there's nothing like having that interaction with a live audience. I love doing TV as well but it's a very different discipline when you have the audience there.

"Touch wood, I have not had it yet, but years ago I had this voice that goes 'you can't remember what to say next can you?'

"What I've found doing the Nightingales is that what I do is stay in character so occasionally if a line avoids my head and I go 'Oh no, what am I going to say now?' I stay in character so I may not say what William Gaminara wrote, but I will say something in character."

Jones - who lives in Cardiff - said she was looking forward to bringing The Nightingales there.

"It's so lovely to be back in Cardiff and to be at home and go to the New Theatre, which I've been to so many times and never performed at.

"To be able to go there and perform to a Cardiff audience is really thrilling because the last time I did theatre was 12 years ago in Cardiff, so there's a nice sense of balance."

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