We caught up with the phenomonal actor and songtress Allyson Ava Brown

niscent of characters in my own life that I know her very well indeed. In that sense it’s very close to home for me.

Your TV and Theatre acting credits include Casualty, Doctors Crowning Glory and secret diary of a call girl,
what was it about the story of The Etienne Sisters that drew you to this production?

So many reasons with this one! The fact that someone has trusted me to play this character who seems so far removed from who I am perceived to be. There is no bigger draw and stretch for an actor and not many wouldn’t jump at the chance. And of course Chè Walker! He is truly brilliant at what he does and his pieces always offer that little bit more for actor and audience alike. It’s an amazing team and Theatre Royal Stratford East has become like a second home for me. They have really got the community aspect of theatre right. It is my favourite theatre and I’m always interested in what they are doing so for me it was a no brainer.

When did you know that you wanted to be a performer?

Since I was 3! I saw a Ballerina on TV and was so entranced by the magic of it all I said “Mummy that’s what I want to do!” So she sent me to dance class! Clearly dance wasn’t my future but performing was and it was a great way to express myself from a young age and gain confidence. From there, when I got older I auditioned for anything and everything going. It was like an adventure to do it all as a child.

In 1998 you was awarded a MOBO for best unsigned act and then recently you was nominated for a best actress award for your performance in Swallowing Dark. Being talented in both acting and singing which do you prefer and why?

I have no real preference if I’m honest. Both go hand in hand for me and when I can’t do one I feel a little bit lost. Being a husky girl I have to really look after my voice which means I am grateful for breaks when I am just acting as I can live a more balanced life. To be considered for both awards was and still is crazy to me! I have never won so much as a raffle so both were a complete surprise. Surprises which I am thankful for none the less.

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