Rosanna Harris is about to become Barbra Streisand in The Funny Girls! Rosanna is very excited to be playing such an iconic legend and to be performing in her first play, we got a chance to speak to her about the play and dream roles from Jenna in Waitress to being a queen in Six!
How did you get into acting, was there a particular performance you saw that resonated with you?
I started dancing when I was 3 years old and always knew I wanted to be on stage. Whether that be singing, dancing or acting. The first Musical I ever saw was Fame. I watched it thinking “I want to do that”. The play I’m currently in, The Funny Girls, is actually my first ever play! Before this I’ve only ever really done musicals!
What has been your favourite role you have played and why?
Playing Jan in Grease The Musical will be a job I will never ever forget. My first “big show” and role. We toured round for a year playing to fully packed audiences in huge theatres and it was honestly a dream. Jan was such a fun role to play too. Aside from the performing itself, I made friends for life which made the experience even more special. The part I am currently playing, Barbra Streisand, is the most ICONIC role I’ll probably ever play!! You can’t really get more iconic than Babs. So even though we haven’t started yet, I imagine it will be up there with my favourite roles!!
Where did you train?
I trained At Mountview Academy Of Theatre Arts. Prior to Mountview I trained at Tring Park School for the Performing arts.
Can you tell us about your current, play: The Funny Girls? What drew you to the piece?
As soon as my agent mentioned Barbra Streisand, I was fully invested to be honest! I didn’t have to give it a second thought. I love her and she is a literal living legend. The play is a comedy based on Barbra Streisand and Joan Rivers. It digs into their lives before they were famous and jumps to them when they were fully fledged stars. Exploring their relationship with each other, their families and also with themselves individually and their personal journeys. It’s a very funny piece but it also has a lot of depth and grit.
How is it to play an icon like Barbra Streisand?
AMAZING. What a sentence. “I’m currently playing Barbra Streisand”. Who gets to say that?! With that comes a little bit of pressure I guess, as she is such a renowned star.
Is there a message you want people to take away from the show?
What I find so interesting about the show is we find out about Barbra’s life before she was famous. Her struggles, her lack of confidence, her family’s lack of support, her financial position, yet she still became a huge huge star. Through self-belief and determination. I think that’s inspiring and a huge message to everyone really. For me personally, Barbara also proved that you don’t have to look a certain way to be a leading lady. THAT is a powerful message too.
Where has been your favourite place to perform on stage and why?
It’s hard to choose one, as every theatre I perform in I fall in love with. Something about performing in London and being close to home feels even more special though.
What is the most rewarding thing about your work?
Knowing that all my hard work has paid off. Knowing that all the hours I put in, knock backs I receive and audition preparation is all worth it when you get the job. That and making my family proud. Amongst many other things!
What’s been a funny moment for you on stage? Any mishaps you want to share!?
Too many to many to share and most will be a “you had to be there” moment!!
Who are your influences and inspirations?
My mum is my biggest inspiration. Proving that if you work hard you can achieve anything you put your mind to. In the theatre industry there are honestly so many, for all different reasons!
Is there a role you would love to play in a show?
I would love to play Fanny in Funny Girl the musical, this play is a close call?! haha. Jenna in Waitress, Veronica in Heathers, ANY of the queens in SIX… I mean I could continue this list for hours! Grease was one of my dream shows since I was little, feel super lucky to have ticked that one off!!
Where can people follow your work on Socials?
@RosannaHarrisX on everything! Book tickets to The Funny Girls online.