The audience thought it was part of the play and gave us a round of applause. I remember thinking I was about to die

When I was cast in a travelling production of Hamlet in 2011, I was very nervous – Hamlet has an awful lot of lines. But I was 24 at the time, and having a leading role was a big deal.

We performed the show for six weeks without a hitch in a Dublin theatre. Then it transferred to Cork. Time was tight, which meant we didn’t get to finish our technical rehearsal before opening night, which was going to be a full house: about 750 people.

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