Amy chats with Kim Ismay who is currently starring as Frances in the UK Tour of Kidnapped – a retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel by Isobel McArthur and MJ McCarthy, who previously teamed up on Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of).
Hi Kim, how are you feeling ahead of opening night?
Equal measures of excitement, terror and so much concentration! It’s always exciting opening a show but when it’s a brand new piece of theatre that nobody’s seen, there’s an extra layer of emotional commitment, and a real desire to get it right.
Tell us about Kidnapped, what attracted you to the production?
It was an amazing opportunity to work on a new show of this calibre, and with Isobel, MJ and all the team. I wasn’t familiar with Stevenson’s wife Frances – and once I did even the smallest amount of research I was hooked. She was an incredible adventurer, and half the things she got up to and achieved in her life would make the bravest amongst us think twice today.
You play Frances, can you tell us about the role?
She was a woman full of humour, bravery and adventure ahead of her time. She was a successful writer too; chased her absentee first husband across America into dangerous situations with their 3 children in tow, learnt to shoot to protect herself, and then decamped the family to Paris, where she met Robert Louis Stevenson at a dinner party. She loved, nursed and carried him both physically and emotionally until his death and they used to write together at the same desk.
From Mamma Mia to Wicked, you’ve been in some incredible shows, what has been a career highlight so far?
Every show I’ve been fortunate to do has had something to make it stand out – I loved being part of the Mamma Mia “family” for so long and I’m also indebted to all the shows that have allowed me to travel and see the world!
How does it feel to be working on a show with the award-winning creators of Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)?
I’m constantly in awe of the writing talents and creative visions of them both…. And not only their brilliance but their joyous humour and support.
How are you feeling about touring the show?
I can’t wait for everyone to see it – I wish we were going to more places and sharing it with loads more people.
And finally, why should people book a ticket to Kidnapped?
There’s something for everyone. It’s a wonderful and emotional coming of age story with romance, adventure, swashbuckling, sword fighting, pirates, a mermaid, a sheep and plenty of laughs – what’s not to love?!
ABOUT THE SHOW
The show is touring to Greenock, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Perth, Newcastle, and Brighton.