Natalie Imbruglia makes stage debut at Richmond Theatre next week

This Is Local London: From pop to stage: Natalie Imbruglia is loving the work Credit: Nobby Clark From pop to stage: Natalie Imbruglia is loving the work Credit: Nobby Clark

Natalie Imbruglia makes her UK stage debut in Things We Do for Love, which drops into Richmond Theatre next week.

The Australian pop star turned actress plays Nikki, who lives with her bearded Scottish fiancé Hamish in the flat above her old school friend Barbara in this dark comedy.

Barbara is an elegant snob who takes an instant dislike to Hamish, who in turn cannot stand her - but is there something hidden behind the initial hostilities?

First staged in 1997, Alan Ayckbourn’s play reveals a limited view of the rooms above and below Barbara’s flat.

And for Torn star Imbruglia, the play is an exciting step into the world of theatre.

She says: “I’m definitely the rookie in this company.

“I’m sure the other actors were wondering how it was going to be to have a singer join them.

“I’m sure they had certain preconceived ideas about how I could be.

“So it’s really nice that we are getting on so well. They can see that I’m a team player.

“They’re all brilliant - they’re such professionals.

“It’s great to work with very experienced actors who really know what they’re doing. In the rehearsal room, I’m like a sponge.”

She has starred alongside Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English and was a popular judge on Australian Idol.

But the role of Nikki is one the international star connects with more than previous characters.

She says: “I very much identify with Nikki - she’s an optimist and a dreamer and there is an element of that in me.

“There are parts of me that have Nikki’s sensibility.

“It’s always useful to relate a character back to yourself.

“Nikki always sees the best in people.”

Things We Do For Love; Richmond Theatre, the Green, Richmond; May 19 until May 24, Mon to Sat 7.30pm, Wed and Sat 2.30pm; ticket prices £10-£34; for more information, visit atgtickets.com/richmond.

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