Question Time

Question time with Leanne Olsen

Larissa Nicholson catches up with Leanne Olsen, who plays Nancy in Ickle Pickle Productions' Oliver!

Leanne Olsen plays Nancy in <i>Oliver!</i>
Leanne Olsen plays Nancy in Oliver! Photo: Family Fotographics

How do you spend your weekends?

A lot of the time I'm rehearsing for musicals, so currently that would be for Oliver! It's a big commitment so it does take up a lot of my spare time. Other than that, I meet a lot of friends for coffees, I do enjoy going to the movies and going to see other theatre in Canberra. My best friend is getting married, so I'm doing a lot of wedding planning at the moment as well.

What is the theatre scene in Canberra like?

I suppose you don't know until you've been involved in it, but it's a massive scene in Canberra. There are so many talented people around the place and so many things happening all the time. I'm mainly involved in musicals, but the straight theatre and plays are massive as well. It's a very close-knit community. You do get to know a lot of people through doing shows, or through other people who've done shows with others coming to see your show. So networking with everyone is fantastic. Canberra has such a supportive bunch of people.

What are your dream roles?

I'd love to play a comedic role or a role in a comedic show, such as Roxie in Chicago or Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, and I'd also like to be involved in an original musical, and work with the creators to develop a character from scratch. But as a dream role I would, of course, love to play an iconic role such as Christine from Phantom of the Opera or a Disney princess such as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

What is it like playing Nancy in Oliver!?

Nancy's such a favourite character of everyone, so it's definitely a big challenge, there's high expectations of her. The most challenging thing is how complicated the character is: she's such a loyal and loving character in one way, but she betrays herself and so many others because of that. But she's still such a happy character, who will put on a brave face and be grateful for what she has. She's one of the classics. I'm honoured to be able to take her on as my first principal role.

Ickle Pickle Productions' Oliver! is playing at the Belconnen Theatre until January 25.