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“The whole show has got a real warmth about it” – Alex Young on festive Crucible show She Loves Me

Alex Young is no stranger to the Crucible: she recently starred in 2019’s Christmas musical Guys and Dolls, as well as Sheffield-set show Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which makes its long-awaited return in 2022. Alex is back at the Crucible this Christmas as she takes on the role of Amalia Balash in She Loves Me.

What excites you the most with She Loves Me?
It’s been so lovely getting to know this show. I’ve never seen it before but know it to be a huge favourite of theatre lovers and I really see why now. It’s a total gem of a show, so it’s been really exciting to discover it. Ben Stones’ design is also a triumph. It’s going to look very beautiful and very stylish. And just to be back on stage with a live audience after so long will be the most exciting thing ever.

Tell us a little more about your character Amalia. Is she relatable to you in any way?
Amalia is a salesgirl, and takes an instant dislike to Georg which is fully reciprocated. Neither of them knows that they are each other’s lonely hearts pen pal, so all sorts of hilarity ensue! She is an intelligent, independent woman but she’s also neurotic and quite unfiltered. She loves books and stories about human relationships despite being rubbish at them herself. She fears being vulnerable and open, poor old girl. I’m nowhere near as well-read as she is, but Amalia is delightfully chaotic and always late, and that I relate to that hard!

“It’s a total gem of a show, so it’s been really exciting to discover it.” © Johan Persson

She Loves Me is set during the run-up to Christmas. What makes this show so special this time of year?
The whole show has got a real warmth about it, and I think the audience should feel that palpable sense of delicious anticipation that you always get at this time of year. There’s also a real feeling of goodness in the show – kindness and generosity but it’s never saccharine or twee – there’s a bite to it. I think it inherently celebrates human goodness, which is especially important at this time. And the run-up to Christmas was so bleak last year, it feels so right that we should fully embrace and take joy in the festive season this time around.

You have worked at the Crucible many times before, how does it feel to be back in Sheffield this Christmas?
Oh, it’s lovely! I love this theatre and all the people that work here. And the Sheffield audiences are easily my favourite. Honestly, I think the people in Sheffield are the most friendly and kind people, I’m so, so fond of this city. I think everyone at the theatre is really up for having a good time after such a tricky few years, so it’s just the best to be here. I’ve also had a baby girl, Maggie, since I was last here, so it’s gorgeous to be up here with her. I was pregnant during both Guys and Dolls and Coriolanus so she’s already begun to challenge me for the title of most Crucible appearances by one person!

Finally, why should audiences come to see She Loves Me?
If you can imagine all your favourite Christmas films combined with some terrific Broadway tunes, some comedy, pathos and romance, a top-drawer cast and live band, in GORGEOUS costumes, on a BEAUTIFUL stage set, and frickin’ SNOW (of a kind…no spoilers), then you really don’t leave yourself much choice but to come and see the show! After the crappy time we’ve all had, audiences deserve to be spoiled rotten and experience some unbridled joy and you’ll find it in She Loves Me.

She Loves Me runs in the Crucible from Saturday 11 December – Saturday 15 January. Tickets are on sale now and available at the Box Office, on 0114 249 6000 or online at https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/events/she-loves-me




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