Ruta Gedmintas is a busy woman. So busy, in fact, that we opt to
hold our cover shoot at a West End venue just moments away from the
Duke of York's Theatre where she is in her final week of
rehearsals, as she has to head there directly afterwards. Gedmintas
is playing reallife German photographer Astrid Kirschherr in
Backbeat, a rock and roll drama set in the "seedy red light
district" of early 1960s Hamburg. The play, which traces the birth
of the Beatles, is Gedmintas' first in five years.
"I'm pretty terrified," she admits, but she's smiling. In person
she smiles - and laughs - a lot, much more than you might expect if
you are accustomed to seeing her as Lip Service's angst-ridden (and
much paler) Frankie Allen.
In a curious echo of her role as Frankie, Backbeat focuses on a
love triangle, in this case between Ruta's character Astrid,
original Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (played by Nick Blood)
and Andrew Knott's John Lennon. Gedmintas (who is, for the record,
currently "not single") has never been in such a complicated tangle
of relationships herself, however. "No," she says thoughtfully,
when I ask if she's experienced similar situations in her own life.
"It's all been relatively straight forward. I've had my fair share
of emo relationships, which is potentially why I keep playing
characters who are in [that kind of relationship] but no, I don't
think I've ever had quite that drama like that in that way."
Read the rest of the interview and see the exclusive photo
shoot with Ruta in this month's DIVA