Graduate of the Month: Melody Grove
April’s Graduate of the Month is Melody Grove, BA Acting graduate who has just received her first Olivier nomination and attended last night’s glittering awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House.
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress in Farinelli and the King, Grove lost out on the award to Judi Dench.
RCS alumni has had a regular presence at theatre’s most prestigious awards ceremony; over the past 15 years, 14 graduates have been nominated for Olivier Awards, with Jack Lowden being the most recent winner for his performance in Ghosts in 2014.
We spoke to Melody just after her run of Farinelli and the King had finished in London and asked her about her time at RCS and her experience starring opposite theatre legend Mark Rylance.
You studied on the BA Acting course at RSAMD – what are your favourite memories of your time studying in Glasgow?
I loved those first few weeks of first year, getting to know everyone in the year as well as the tutors. Feeling a part of that vibrant, creative community meant a lot to me.
Also I have great memories of doing panto in third year… watching my friends do things they’d never done before I didn’t realise how demanding panto is! Many of us were out of our comfort zones, which made it really exciting to be a part of.
Since graduating in 2009 you’ve worked consistently in the industry. What have been some of your career highlights to date?
Touring the world with NTS’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart was an amazing time. I got to travel to so many places I would never have gone to otherwise and I learnt so much from the wonderful company. It was here I made some of my best friends.
And obviously opening Farinelli and the King at the Wannamaker Theatre was very special. I’d wanted to work at the Globe for years, and had auditioned unsuccessfully previously. When I got an offer for Farinelli, it was a dream come true.
You’ve just finished starring in Farinelli and the King opposite Mark Rylance; what attracted you to this role and what did you learn working with Mark?
Claire van Kampen, the writer, is a formidably strong and intelligent woman…and she put a lot of herself into the role of Queen Isabella Farnese. And the real life Isabella was a force to be reckoned with, despite being quite alone in a world of politicians and patriarchy. I’m always interested in playing strong, independent women who get to go on an interesting journey.
Mark is a true ‘player’, in the sense that he loves board games, table tennis, playing poker and pool. He approaches acting like he’s playing a game! And he’s at the very top of his game it’s like getting the chance to box with Muhammed Ali or play football with Messi. You have to be on your toes, and constantly present. He inspires playfulness, truth, generosity and openness in the way he works.