Bridlington actress Selina comes back to her northern roots

Selina Zaza as Nan in Rapunzel
Selina Zaza as Nan in Rapunzel

THE twist on the classic tale of Rapunzel is that her captor isn’t evil, but simply someone who needs company.

The character who has Rapunzel locked in the proverbial tower is Nan, “an overprotective loving parent, who doesn’t want to be alone” describes former Headlands school pupil, Selina Zaza.

Selina, who has enjoyed several years living in London working primarily in theatre, spoke to Free Time about her latest role playing Nan in the Tutti Frutti production of Rapunzel, which is based at York Theatre Royal from September 27 until October 13.

“I love the theatre world, I like seeing people in front of me in the audience and performing for them.

Rapunzel, is written by leading children’s playwright Mike Kenny and tells the story of a girl who is taken away from what she knows and protected from all the things that she loves.

Selina explains her part: “My character doesn’t want Rapunzel to leave her. It’s not like the classic story. Nan is overprotective, like some parents can be, and is scared of the big wide world.

“When I was growing up in Bridlington, my parents were very overprotective and and I joined lots of after school activities as a way of getting out on my own.

“Now, playing Nan, I can relate to how my parents felt. And hope that parents have empathy with the character.”

Bridlington was a big part of Selina’s youth, growing up here she mentions how thankful she is to her school teachers and, of course her parents, for playing their part in her career: “I did drama workshops at Headlands, singing and dance lessons, martial arts and played netball for the Brid team.

“I couldn’t fault my teachers at Headlands, they inspired me, and my brother [Shane Zaza], and I have a lot to thank them, and my parents for.”

As part of the Olympic Film Festival, Selina also played a part in a short film written and directed by Mike Leigh called A Running Jump. She credits all those activities she did in Bridlington to the reason she was able to play the part.

“I was taught karate at Bridlington Sports Hall, and reached a second black belt.

“When I moved to London I stopped doing karate because it just wasn’t as accessible as it was in Brid. You can’t just walk around the corner like you can there, I really appreciate Brid and it’s where I learnt a lot of my skills.

“I hope the people who taught me think “I’m proud of her” because they played a big part.”

Now Selina has had a taste of the silver screen she said she would like to pursure more television and film work, but that it’s an unsure industry: “It’s two different worlds. In theatre it’s great having that challenge, that buzz.

“In film you have to do it again, edit, do it again. I love theatre because it can be spontaneous. You have to think is this going to work if you go wrong.”

For now, Selina is looking forward to touring with her fourth production, she admits it’s nice to be staying at the same theatre for a few weeks at a time: “It’s really nice to stay in one place for a while. I love meeting lots of new people, and entertaining, it opens you up.

“I’d associate more with Rapunzel, not like Nan who is too scared to get out there into the world.”

Tickets for Rapunzel are £10 and £6 for children, they can be bought online or by calling the box office on 01904 623568.