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Tamsin Greig on learning a 97-page play in two weeks

From BBC - October 3, 2017

Tamsin Greig is in a new play.

Nothing particularly unusual about that, you are probably thinking.

But Labour of Love, which opens this week, has involved a particularly intensive rehearsal period for the actress.

Tamsin had to stand in at the last minute for Sarah Lancashire, who pulled out of the project due to illness.

Which meant that when Tamsin took over the role, she had to learn an entire play... in two-and-a-half weeks.

"I just leant very heavily on Martin [Freeman, her co-star]," the actress told BBC Radio 4's Front Row.

"I lent on his knowledge of the play, the subject matter, the characters, and I just sort of did a lot of programming, like you would with a computer program, just putting the lines in.

"I am desperately trying to remember 97 pages of dialogue learned in two weeks and remember where the spray cream is, so I have got my head down."

Labour of Love, written by James Graham, tells the story of an MP who is trying to modernise his party (you can guess which one from the play's title).

Greig plays his election agent and office manager in the comedy, which is set in North Nottinghamshire.

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