‘I came from a very showbiz family, so if I had told mum and dad I wanted to do a proper job, they would have had a heart attack.”
Without a hint of showing off, Amy Robbins reels off a list of some of her famous relatives. One of five children, her siblings include impressionist Kate Robbins, actor Ted Robbins and Emma, one of the Sheila’s Wheels singers.
Her niece is Inbetweeners star and pin-up, Emily Atack, and she is married to former House of Eliott actor, Robert Daws.
“Isn’t Paul McCartney your cousin?” I mention.
“Oh him,” Amy jokes. “I forgot about him, yes, he is my cousin.”
“Getting into acting wasn’t a sub-conscious thing, it was in the blood. But I don’t think there was more pressure because of that. It was taken as read I would go into the industry, but once in there I could do whatever I wanted.”
There was clearly no messing around for Amy as she trained at the esteemed London acting school, RADA. Her time there, she said, trained her well for the tough job of learning Shakespearean lines, something essential for her forthcoming project at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate.
From April 19 until May 11, she will be playing the fairy queen, Titania, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a production set in Edwardian England and directed by Gary Sefton.
Amy said: “The last Shakespeare play I did was at Buckingham Palace where I played Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet for the Queen. It was scary.
“Titania is a fabulous part, particularly in the way it has been done this time around. She is traditionally played as a fairy, a noble entity. But in this I get to shout a bit and she generally stomps around, which is quite different. It is a great part for a woman at my stage in life.”
Like many actresses in their 40s, Amy is beautiful and glamorous, but keenly aware of her age and how that impacts on the parts she can play. She knows her days of playing Juliet are over.
Amy said: “Now I’m in my 40s I’m doing the things I did not do before. I have done my first musical and would like to do more of that. The TV parts out there are great but there are a lot of actors out there. One thing I really want to do is Corrie, where there are a lot of great characters over 40.”
Amy’s career so far has been diverse, including parts such as a 10-year stint playing Dr Jill Weatherill in ITV’s The Royal (where she met her husband) and starring as Mrs Johnston in Blood Brothers, in the West End.
Where some couples would find working side by side all day a little too much, Amy enjoyed the experience working with Robert.
“Because we had met that way it seemed normal to be at work together, now it seems stranger not to work with him.
“Working for 10 years playing a doctor or a nurse, you also start taking an interest in the subject. I used to get carried away with details like how to do injections. I remember learning how to perform a Caesarean and thinking ‘can I actually perform a Caesarean now?’ Thank goodness I never tried!”