Star Interview: Sara Crowe

Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels

The face of many favourite British comedies, not to mention a particularly successful string of 1990s adverts for Philadelphia cheese, actress Sara Crowe is fast becoming a national treasure.

Known for her roles in a vast array of film, TV and theatre shows, her credits include being the first bride in Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring in BBC’s Born And Bred and winning a Best Supporting Actress Olivier Award for her stage role in Noel Coward’s Private Lives.

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels

And this week (until February 15) she is taking to the stage at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate in another Coward play, Fallen Angels, in which she stars alongside Jenny Seagrove, playing one of two best friends who are visited by a mutual, long-lost lover.

Sara said: “It is a fun play and a great fun part, she is a complete drama queen. The whole thing escalates into a completely ridiculous situation; it is the most farce-like of all Noel Coward plays. It is so witty and sharp.”

Known predominantly as a comedy actress, Sara has developed provoking audience laughter into a fine art.

She said: “I think comedy is difficult but then, on the other hand, you have a kind of interaction with the audience in front of you. People are tickled by different things. They might laugh at something different on a Monday to what they do on a Tuesday. You can tune in to what kind of audience is in that night and what pleases them; do they recognise more of the wordy humour?”

The play includes a particularly memorable ‘drunk’ scene. But how difficult is this kind of rapid inebriation to play as an actress?

Sara said: “That was scary at first. Both characters get more and more drunk. But getting drunk over a 15-minute period on stage isn’t easy, there isn’t a lot of time.”

Despite her obvious acting talents, becoming a thespian was not always something Sara wanted to do.

She said: “It was pretty much an accident. I wanted to be a vet, I don’t know what happened. I was blown by a wind, it wasn’t a conscious decision, it wasn’t something I always wanted to do.”

It may have been the mid 1990s when Sara became the face of a successful advertising campaign for Philadelphia cheese, but the public still remembers her fondly for these appearances.

She said: “I do look back on them fondly, I wish they were still going. I have no complaints at all. I was more recognised than I used to be. When I went out anywhere people used to say ‘there is that cheese girl’. I always used to eat it when I was filming, I never had to pretend.”

As well as continuing to carve her name as a stage actress, Sara also enjoys spending her time writing. Her first novel, Campari For Breakfast, is due to be published in April.

‘Is alcohol a bit of a theme in your career at the moment?’ I joke.

“It isn’t actually about drinking,” she laughed. “I’m keeping it under wraps at the moment but it is a coming of age quest and has taken four years to write.”