Q&A with Nancy Zamit from Groan Ups at The Vaudeville
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
It only just premiered last month and Mischief Theatre's latest comedy Groan Ups is raking in outstanding reviews from both audiences and critics alike. This bundle of joy and comedic gold is currently running at London's Vaudeville Theatre until 1 December 2019. Although the show is in full swing and the performers are very busy, Nancy Zamit (Moon) managed to take time out of her schedule to answer some questions about herself and the new Groan Ups play. Check out what she had to say below in our exclusive Q&A!
Exclusive interview with Groan Ups actress Nancy Zamit
Mischief Theatre fans had been looking forward to Groan Ups for a while, but for people who are new to the company, what can they expect from this brand-new production?
Groan Ups is a lot of comedic styles rolled into one. As the characters grow up, the comedic styles shift. It's been a lot of fun to create and bring this together. We do have our mischief-style farce in there (of course!) but there is a beautiful, moving storyline running through which really pins it all together in the last act. It’s great if you're looking to go to a Mischief show for the first time, as you get a taste of everything.
Groan Ups is about the effect school had on you; do you have a particular experience from school that helped shape you?
I was very lucky, as the artistic subjects were taken very seriously at my school. I got to take a small play to the Edinburgh Fringe when I was in sixth form. I was actually operating the lighting, but it was such a great introduction to the industry I was about to go into. (Or it was the time I walked into a basketball post in the middle of the playground...that taught me how to laugh at myself!)
Apart from Groan Ups, what has been your favourite Mischief Theatre production to work on and why?
Every show has been so different for me. The Play That Goes Wrong will always be our baby that we grew from a pub to Broadway. So many amazing memories in that, it's hard to beat. I was even secretly pregnant with my son for the last two weeks on Broadway so it will always have a huge place in my life. Peter Pan Goes Wrong was our first experience taking a show from stage to TV, which was unforgettable. Also, I think Tinkerbell is one of my favourite characters to play. The Comedy About A Bank Robbery allowed me to sing in a show for the first time, something I've wanted to do since I was very little. So they all have a special meaning for me in different ways. It’s impossible to choose one, that would be like picking a favourite child!
I guess to be a part of Mischief Theatre, you have to enjoy making people laugh. What is it about making people laugh that you enjoy so much?
Laughing is one of the most important things in the world to me. It's the reason I work with Mischief Theatre. The reason I married my husband. The reason I have the friends that I have. I cannot tell you how much I love to laugh. What I like about making people laugh is knowing that you're spreading joy. That people aren't thinking about the stressful things in their life, they are just in that moment with you laughing at someone with no trousers on or something. Also, I think for us, it's a validation of our work. When people laugh in our show, it means we’re doing our jobs right and all the hard work has been worth it.
Being a part of Mischief Theatre for 10 years, it’s safe to say you’ve had a fair share of comedies, but is there another genre you’d love to delve into?
I'm up for anything really. If the script is good, it’s worth a crack. I'm always going to be drawn to a comedic role though. If I end up steering away from comedy parts, it will more likely be because I'm wanting to direct or choreograph things. I really enjoy that part of the process. Give me a directing job over Juliet any day of the week.
Do you have a dream role within an existing comedy play outside of Mischief Theatre?
It's not a play… but I'm desperate to play Ursula from The Little Mermaid. That is my dream job. I would crush it. I even have the back fat.
We hear Mischief Theatre is getting their own six-part TV series... What can you tell us about that?
It's very exciting. Each episode is very different whilst keeping the classic "goes wrong" style. We learnt a lot from doing our BBC Christmas specials in the past, so hopefully, the series will reflect that. The BBC have been great to work with and so accommodating to our crazy ideas. It's been extremely good fun and people always say if you have fun doing it, it really shows in the final product.
In Groan Ups, we are taken from the classroom to adulthood and back. Why do you think it will be enjoyable for all ages?
I think for the first act when we are six years old, there’s a lot of parroting phrases that their parents would have said. Almost like you are seeing an adult life through a child's eyes; you don't have to be a specific age to get that. Hopefully, it works as a comedic piece on its own. It's very naughty and lots of fun.
Every adult remembers their school years, fondly or not. Hopefully, we cover all the bases. The teenage years in the play are specific to the noughties but the feelings are the same as any teenager: first kisses, thinking you know it all, budding dreams and aspirations. Every adult can connect with that.
The adult years bind it all together. I honestly believe you don't have to be a specific age or generation to enjoy the show; the feelings are universal.
You’ve been in many different ‘Goes Wrong’ style plays and will also be in Magic Goes Wrong, but what is your favourite stunt/scene you’ve pulled off?
I'm very proud of the girls’ fight in The Play That Goes Wrong. Myself and Charlie Russell worked really hard putting that together in its initial stages. We wanted it to be raw and aggressive and funny, and it's great watching other girls do it now all over the world.
In three words, why are you excited for Groan Ups?
Because of my FABULOUSLY. B*TCHY. CHARACTER.
Tickets for Groan Ups showing at London's Vaudeville Theatre on sale from £24!
This brilliant comedy by Mischief Theatre will make you laugh yourself silly from beginning to end! Complete with stunning visuals, forced perspective, and high-quality actors from a company that goes above and beyond the "humour Richter scale," Groan Ups is certainly not to be missed on your West End wish list! Book your tickets for Groan Ups today to secure the best seats at the Vaudeville Theatre whilst stocks last!