Interview: WAG! the musical’s Pippa Fulton
SKRBBLR: Can you give us a rundown of what WAG! the musical’s all about?
Pippa: Obviously it’s mainly centred around the WAG (wives and girlfriends) thing, but the play covers quite a few different issues. It’s a real roller-coaster of a ride with slightly bipolar characters like my one Jenny who’s having an affair with a WAG’s husband — a premiership footballer whose wife doesn’t find out about it until later on. While Jenny’s a strong person, she hates men and is completely deluded about this relationship she finds herself in. She’s the outspoken, loud one that says everything that another character, Sharon, doesn’t. The play is based more on WAG culture than football itself — we definitely don’t stand around debating the offside rule!
SKRBBLR: How did you get the part of Jenny in the play?
Pippa: It all happened quite quickly. My agent came across the part of a WAG called Vicky on the actors’ website Spotlight and put me forward for it. I was one of the last ones to audition that day, but as soon as I’d auditioned they asked me how I felt about taking on the main role of Jenny. They gave me a week to think about it but I emailed them back the next morning.
SKRBBLR: Do you think that going out with a footballer helped you land the main part?
Pippa: The original advert was asking for people with experience in ‘WAGdom’, which I have as I’ve been with Clayton for six years, but I don’t think that had much to do with me getting the part of Jenny because she’s not a WAG. In the past few years I’ve appeared in plays by John Godber, including a National Theatre tour of his award-winning Shakers, and plays by Neil Sissons. I was also with Hull Truck Theatre for four years, so I think it’s more a combination of everything as opposed to one specific thing I’ve done. I was really thrilled to land the part.
SKRBLR: Not only are The Only Way Is Essex-style shows all the rage at the moment, but we’ve got the Euros coming up too. Is this the best time to put on a play about WAGS?
Pippa: Definitely — they’ve timed it to perfection. The play received more attention and interest than the production company thought it would in a million years, and the fact that we have names onboard like Jessica [Lawlor] and Belinda [Owusu], as well as people like myself who know a bit about both the WAG life and the music and acting industries, means that we’ve got a well-balanced cast. In terms of having TOWIE-like characters, we’ve got Francine Lewis in the play who’s currently appearing on Channel Four’s Very Important People, doing impressions of Amy Childs, and we’ve also got Charlotte Dawson. The producers have definitely put together a little gold mine here.
SKRBBLR: Most people wouldn’t think that the life of a League 1 or Championship WAG would be that different to that of a well-known Premiership one like Victoria Beckham. Is it possible to tell them apart?
Pippa: That depends how much designer you’re dripping in, I guess! I don’t know [laughs]. I don’t think that you can really define a WAG just by looking at them. No matter what division a WAG’s footballer is is in, everybody is an individual and has their own style. That said, you can sometimes spot the try hards and wannabes, some of who appear in all their stereotypical glory in the play. Sometimes they look the same — as if they have their own uniform or dress code — but I don’t think you could relate me to football on any given day.
SKRBBLR: After seeing the play, do you think people will emerge with a more positive or negative view of WAGs?
SKRBBLR: What would you say to someone who was deciding if they should go and watch the play?
Pippa: Well, we’re doing it at a small venue so it’s going to be really intimate, and anyone who wants a good laugh should go and see it. There are some fantastic musical theatre songs in there — a bit like what you’d hear in plays like Legally Blonde and other productions with a feel-good, night out kind of vibe — so come along to see it and have fun. You never know where it might lead!
WAG! the musical is showing June 5 — June 22 at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub. See wagthemusical.com for tickets.