Dress rehearsal for PA

Last Update: 27 Feb 2003

Source: This is London
26/02/03 - Showbiz news section
Dress rehearsal for PA
By Luke Leitch, Evening Standard

Kate Ludlow

As a dresser and personal assistant to the stars, she was close to fame. But Kate Ludlow had never experienced it for herself while she worked behind the scenes for celebrities such as Sean Bean.

Tonight, however, all that will change as she appears with Bean and co-star Samantha Bond in Macbeth at the Albery Theatre.

A last-minute illness among one of the witches caused an emergency because there was no understudy.

Kate, 27, was asked if she could stand in and her performance was so good the directors gave her the part for the remainder of the play's run. "I was so nervous," she said. "It all felt like a dream, really surreal, and suddenly I was on stage. That's when it hit me. The weird sisters open the show and I went out there, looked at the hundreds of people in the audience and just thought 'Oh My God'."

Despite her nerves, Kate performed twice - without a hitch - before the regular " weird sister" recovered.

But now Kate has become a full cast member and will appear in the sell-out production as it starts a short extension until Saturday.

Apart from her rushed appearances last month, it will be her first full West End debut. "It was all a blur," she said. "I had to have a costume fit, have some boots bought, a wig fitting and then I was on. Samantha Bond kept saying it was just like 42nd Street.

"Macbeth isn't supposed to be lucky, but it has been for me. And there was no witchcraft involved."

Acting with Sean Bean instead of overseeing his diary has been something of a change but said Kate: "It wasn't strange because I know him a bit by now. I was more worried about falling off this big double bed during one of the scenes." Kate, who graduated from the London Studio Centre - the same drama school attended by Liz Hurley and Tamzin Outhwaite - continued: "This was just a resting job for me in between acting jobs.

"But the assistant director knew I was an actress, and last month they started thinking that the weird sisters might need an understudy because there was this bug going around.

"They asked me to get ready to rehearse it on a Thursday, but the day before one of the witches suddenly fell sick and I had to go on - there was no other option."

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