Actress Rachel Lumberg, who plays the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at the Crucible, is becoming a familiar face on stage in Sheffield.
Rachel played ditzy Sian, the aunt of teenage main character Nicky in the musical This Is My Family, which was created by Sheffield Theatres.
The first version in 2013 at the Crucible Studio featured Sian Phillips as Nick’s grandma and a revival of the show last autumn at the Lyceum Theatre reopened the venue after it was refurbished.
Rachel also co-starred in Sheffield Theatres’ hit version of The Full Monty that went on a successful national tour.
She is thrilled to be playing a role that goes back to the start of her career. She said: “I did it to audition for drama school and now I’m going back into doing that speech.
“I was 17 when I did that. Now I’m 19! It makes such a difference.
“Coming back to a part all those years later, you can add the experience of your own life and take that forward.”
She added: “I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m old enough to play her now, but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I’m one of the oldest in the cast. They’re all really young and really sexy.
“I have seen quite a few people play the Nurse but I’ve purposely made a point of not referring to anything I’ve seen.”
Rachel promises that her Nurse will be feisty. “I think she is a woman in her own right. She is incredibly strong and says what she thinks and thinks what she says.
“Her relationship with Juliet is very modern. She play with her and doesn’t give her information directly.”
The play has been set in the Balkans in modern times. Rachel said: “It’s a small community where everybody knows every bugger’s business. She is out and about with her shopping trolley every day.
“She’s very youthful and knows what is in with the kids but has a cool and old, wise head on her.
“At the end she stands up to Capulet and says, ‘it’s your fault’.”
Rachel said that she wants to draw the audience in so that they are rooting for Romeo and Juliet.
“Every so often you really hope that it works out, even though you are told at the start that it’s not a good ending. You think ‘oh my god I so want it to just work out’ but you know it doesn’t.”
She added: “It is important that this text is alive for everybody to see and enjoy and understand. Every 14-year-old girl has been in love and often it’s unrequited.
“They always think, ‘you don’t know how I feel’ and as an adult you think, ‘darling I do but I understand that you have to go through this yourself’.
Romeo and Juliet is at the Crucible until October 17.
Box office: at the Crucible, call 0114 249 6000 or online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk