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“It’s an institution on the Manchester scene”: meet the one-woman show starring in JB Shorts

"JB Shorts is the best kind of theatre because each piece is short and different," says actor Krissi Bohn

“It’s a bit of an institution on the Manchester scene”: meet Krissi Bohn, the actor starring in JB Shorts

Krissi Bohn has performed in many different stage productions, including a one-woman show, The Bogus Woman. Many people will recognise her for her role in Coronation Street; she played Jenna Kamara for two years. She has also starred in the hit TV series Vera alongside Brenda Blethyn. 

Krissi is about to star in JB Shorts which returns to 53 Two later this month, following a gap, due to Covid. We caught up with her to find out more.

What attracted you to JB Shorts?

It feels like it’s a bit of an institution on the Manchester scene. I first went years ago when it was at Joshua Brooks and I can still remember the buzz in the room. It really feels like you’re watching something special and that has stayed with it. Also after having my second child I feel like my brain is fried so coming back to the stage with a 15min play feels like a more achievable goal!

Tell us a bit about the short you are starring in. What is it about? 

I’m in I want my Britain Back by James Quinn and Zoe Iqbal. It’s about a Conservative MP who has unexpectedly been shut in a room with a poverty campaigner during a national crisis. Some of it will feel very familiar!!

Given where we are now, is playing a Conservative MP cathartic in a way? 

It does feel slightly cathartic playing such an extreme character. I had no idea I had so much nastiness within me! It does make me question how certain people within the government can actually sleep at night though. 

What do you love most about Manchester?

I love the people, the vibrancy and the way it can be a home for so many. I’ve lived here as a student and now I live here with my young family and I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

If there was one thing about the city that you could change, what would it be?

The poverty. For all the good things about Manchester, there is so much poverty too, As the colder months roll in I really feel for those on the streets, in temporary accommodation and those (in increasing numbers) who can’t afford basic living costs.

What impact did Coronation Street have on your career?

It actually restarted my career. Prior to that, I had given up acting and was (very happily) working on the clerical team in the NHS. Corrie dragged me back to acting and also started on-screen stuff as before that I had worked almost exclusively in theatre (which I LOVE!)

What are your best memories of the cobbles?

It’s been 10 years since I joined Corrie and sometimes it feels like such a distant memory it’s almost a dream! But I do remember the laughter. I worked with some of the funniest people and we would always have a good time at work and outside of it.

53 Two is a regular haunt for many in Manchester. What does it offer you as a place and performer?

I love 53Two because it very much feels like a safe haven from the world. Everyone is welcome. I often pop into the bar on my own and I know I’ll be sure to have a chat with someone whether I know them or not. The theatre just feels fresh and new.  

If someone has never been to JB Shorts before, how would you sell it to them?

JB Shorts is the best kind of theatre because each piece is short and different. You never have a chance to get bored. There is always another story coming and 21 actors – up close to look at. Also, the bar is great!! Seriously. I’m a lover of new writing over the old classics any day and this is a perfect way to get a taste of 6 different worlds in 2 hours!!

You can see Krissi and 20 other actors in JB Shorts at 53 Two from 11th – 22nd October and tickets can be booked here

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