“I’ve been seven years in the public eye – and the past four of those have been as an actress.”
Abi Titmuss is keen to point out where her priorities lie.
“It’s taken me 10 years’ effort to get to this point,” she says. “I started at the grass roots level and trained in drama for three years.”
“I worked as a nurse part-time to support myself, then as a model. Now, I’m absolutely passionate about the acting.”
Although she’s had to turn down many stereotyped parts, Abi has worked hard and received critical praise for her theatrical work to date.
She has starred in an award-winning production of an Arthur Miller play, portrayed Lady Macbeth and now is set to appear in the 25th anniversary production of John Godber’s Up ‘n’ Under at the Assembly.
“I played in this at the Hull Truck theatre last year and that was very successful,” Abi says. “John’s rewritten parts of it around the cast and made a few tweaks to it. It’s a real honour to be starring in it.”
Up ‘n’ Under tells the comic tale of a struggling third-rate rugby team who find themselves aiming to beat a rival team, despite being woefully unfit. Enter Hazel – a gym instructress – who takes the team and works with them to knock them into shape – perhaps even enough to win.
“It’s a physically demanding show,” says Abi. “This summer I spent a week at the GI Jane Boot Camp – an extreme fitness course run by commandos.”
“They’d get us up at 5am to go on a five-mile run every morning, and really worked on toughening us up. I lost 10 pounds in 7 days!”
This will stand her in good stead for her next ‘marathon’ – 25 ninety-minute performances of Godber’s knockabout play in 26 days. Does she feel prepared for it?
“I’m an extremist!” she says. “I’ve wanted to appear in the Fringe for years and it’s a massive honour to finally be doing that. And at the Assembly too – I feel so lucky and grateful.”
“I’m going to give it 150 percent!”
It’s obvious from talking to Abi that she is absolutely passionate about her acting and prepared to put in the effort to succeed. She’s also looking forward to the Fringe as an audience member as well as an actress.
“I’ll be catching as many shows as I can,” she says. “There’s so much I want to see, but I’ll definitely be seeing Territory at the Pleasance.”
“Being in Edinburgh for the Fringe just couldn’t be better!”
Acting seems to drive Abi and satisfy something within her she couldn’t get any other way.
“It gives me such respect for myself and I enjoy it so much,” she says.
“I’m always looking to improve, always learning my craft. And I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get this far.”
“I’m still taking it a day at a time – but it now feels as though things are beginning to pay off.”
Abi will also be making a guest appearance at the Edinburgh Foodies Festival in Holyrood Park on Friday 13th August at 2pm, with Matt Powell of Hotel du Vin.