LUCY Phelps is very much enjoying her debut season with the Royal Shakespeare Company; and she’s been busy rehearsing for the grand Christopher Marlowe epic, Dido, Queen of Carthage.

But she took time out to talk about her childhood in Worcestershire and how it gave her the skills and confidence she needed, when she decided to tread the boards professionally.

Lucy, aged 30, hails from Callow End and she attended St Mary’s School in Worcester, where she encountered the drama teacher Judith Wright.

To Lucy’s delight, Mrs Wright recently travelled to Stratford to see her former pupil perform in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.

Lucy was also a keen member of WODS , for ten years, which she said confirmed her love of performance.

She also attended the Cecilia Hall Dance Studio in Malvern, which she described as “very caring”.

Lucy said: “I owe a lot to them, to WODS and Mrs Wright.”

But what is it like working for the RSC? One thing for certain is, it is very demanding work at times.

Lucy said: “The company is all about understanding each other. Everyone has to have six or seven parts in their head, in case something goes wrong and they have to step in. It is a company where everyone supports each other and invests in each other’s work, and this fosters a great company feeling.”

It’s already been a busy season so far - the Roman Season - for Lucy.

She has played a waiting woman in Julius Caesar; Octavia in Antony and Cleopatra and she will be Cloanthus in Dido, Queen of Carthage.

She added: “Anthony and Cleopatra is a beast to tackle; it’s a big epic.”

But it also links in nicely with the Dido play: because the legend that the Trojan hero Aeneas, the lover of Dido, ended up founding Rome is mentioned in Antony and Cleopatra.

Lucy is enjoying Marlowe, and she finds it a different experience to learning Shakespeare.

She said: “Marlowe is a tough cookie; but wonderful. The text is dense, but it’s incredibly rich. It takes a long time to unpick it.

“And Marlowe is quite controversial. Dido contains veiled references to Queen Elizabeth 1. In this respect, he pushed a little further than Shakespeare, which was a dangerous thing.”

Lucy’s previous theatre credits include King Charles III (Almeida Theatre/tour); Sex and The Three Day Week (Liverpool Playhouse); Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down, See How They Run (York Theatre Royal); Viva Forever! (Piccadilly Theatre, West End); Mint (Royal Court Theatre); Lay Down Your Cross (Hampstead Theatre), and Earthquakes in London (Headlong Theatre)

Television and film credits include The Coroner, Siblings, Call The Midwife, Silent Witness, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Skins, New Tricks, and William & Catherine: A Royal Romance.

Dido, Queen of Carthage opens at The Swan Theatre in Stratford on September 15. Further details at