“It’s such a buzz” — Lucy Pinder on her transition to stage and why she loves her new role

Former Celebrity Big Brother stars Lucy Pinder and Paul Danan are appearing in Michael Head’s south London-inspired play this month.

Worth a Flutter, which runs from May 1-19 at The Hope Theatre in Islington, is Michael’s third show as playwright and Lucy’s stage debut.

The British pin-up girl turned actress revealed some of the men in the play had been brought up with entrenched attitudes towards women that had been passed down through generations.

“The whole play shows that people are product of their environment,” she said.

She added: “And no one is perfect; I really like that about the play.”

After a successful modelling career, Lucy moved into the world of TV acting.

On the transition form screen roles to stage, she said: “There’s so much more riding on getting it spot on, which I have quite enjoyed the pressure of really.”

She added: “It’s such a buzz.”

Co-star and TV stalwart Paul Danan, who plays two characters, admitted acting on stage was an artistically liberating experience.

“I feel freer, I’ve got to admit,” he said.

“Just being in this theatre, I am just able to be free with the character – to actually go for it.”

A hard-hitting comedy that covers life, love and loss, the play reveals the dark and tragic past of four broken characters to see what has lead them to this point and how they try to move forward.

South London actress Clare McNamara, who plays Helen in the show, revealed how audiences would often come away with different reactions to a performance.

“What I love most about theatre is it is different every night,” she said.

“No two performances are the same; and that’s really lovely.

“Even though your character is saying the same words every night, you are never going to give off the same performance, and I love that.”

Former Hollyoaks cast member Paul revealed one of Worth a Futter’s most appealing traits was its relatability.

Playwright Michael Head, who also stars in the show, divulged he didn’t like plays with themes or meanings and he just hoped audiences were entertained.

“I believe, personally, theatre should be about entertainment,” he said.

“Hopefully [audiences] will find it funny and impressive.”

He added: “I don’t like to tell audiences what they should think.

“If they take something from it, then that’s wonderful.

“If they don’t, hopefully they leave and say, ‘do you know what? I enjoyed it.’

“And that’s enough for me.”

The grandson of a bank robber, the London-born writer explained his background didn’t exactly scream theatre.

“I wanted to be a boxer, but I wasn’t very good at it – I didn’t like getting hit, which is a problem apparently,” he said.

On his latest play, he said: “Essentially it’s a love story, about a strong female hero.”

He added: “I wanted to make it as close to my south London routes as possible, so there are a lot of personal stories.

“And also, I wanted it to be a comedy – I believe to make an audience cry, you have to make them laugh first.”

Michael confessed he felt lucky to be working with both an experienced and high-profile team of people.

“For me, the biggest thrill is seeing wonderful creatives – an amazing director and these wonderful actors and such a wonderful tech crew – involved in something I have written,” he said.

“It’s an honour. You go home buzzing.

“It really is an absolute buzz; it’s worth the sleepless nights and the early death I’m undoubtedly going to have!”

Michael explained the play used comedy to bring serious issues to light by highlighting character flaws.

Echoing Michael’s words, the show’s award-winning director Jonathon Carr, who has presented work at the Old Vic, said: “Even though it has that love story arc with the competing men, they are desperately flawed men.

“Even the one you route for has a load of issues and a past that reflects that.”

But despite the play’s dark undertones, Michael felt it was a story of hope.

On the intimate Hope Theatre, Paul said: “It’s like you’re in an actor’s studio.

“I think it suits this piece, it’s a real storytelling piece.”

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