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Menna Trussler

Menna Trussler was born in Swansea. As a child all she ever wanted to do was to perform, her earliest memory is of reciting at her local chapel, soon after she joined Fforestfach Amateur Drama club. They  would stage their plays at the Welfare Cinema - affectionately known as "the bug house". after many years with Fforestfach, Menna joined Swansea Amateur Operatic Society and was given a role in "Fiddler On The Roof" at The Grand Theatre in 1973. Four years later on April 22nd 1977 Menna got a call from John Chilvers offering her a position as ASM at the Grand, the date is significant as later in the day the news came through that Ryan Davies had died in America. This position allowed Menna the opportunity to gain an Equity card - very difficult to get in those days.  

As she grew up she knew no other life would do but a life on the stage, despite her mother pleading with her to get a proper job! Menna did her ‘time’ for one Rep season before she was allowed to tread the boards, performing in Rep theatre for the next ten years in both plays and musicals. Favourite roles from this time are Mama Rose in Gypsy, Helene in 84 Charing Cross Road, title role in The Gingerbread Lady and Titania in A Midsummer Nights Dream. (A role she later reprised as a voice over for The Royal Shakespeare company in an animated version)Following this Menna went on to appear with all the major theatre companies in Wales. She has also appeared in numerous plays by Frank Vickery  including; ‘Sleeping With Mickey Mouse’, ‘A Kiss On The Bottom’, ‘Loose Ends’, ‘Roots And Wings’ ‘Green Favours’,’The Drag Factor’ ‘Love Forty’  and ‘Family Planning’. The latter was also translated into Welsh and made into the long running TV series’Os Byw Yn Iach’ in which Menna played ‘Gran’..Her Musical Theatre credits include; Mama Rose in ‘Gypsy’, Frau Schneider in ‘Cabaret',  Dolly in ‘Hello Dolly’, Golda in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and as the  Narrator in ‘Joseph’, She also appeared in ‘Side By Side By Sondheim’ at The Grand Theatre in 1979 alongside Richard Frost and Sian Hopkins, and was delighted to resurrect the role again in 2004, this time alongside her daughter Nia. Menna is very proud of her three Pantomime appearances at her beloved Grand Theatre, in 1981/2 came ‘Puss In Boots’ alongside Davy Jones of the Monkees! and Swansea's Kenny Smiles. In 1982/3 came 'Dick Whittington' with  Harry H. Corbett - Harry sadly died a few weeks after completing the Pantomime at Swansea. She was also the Fairy Godmother in ‘Cinderella’ in 1984/5 with Paul Henry and Roy Barraclough   TV credits include; ‘The Bench’, ‘Hope And Glory’, ‘We Are Seven’, ‘Ballroom’, ‘Trip Trap’, ‘Company of Strangers’, ‘Boy Soldier’, ‘Licorys Alsorts’, ‘Bydd Yn Wrol’, ‘The Things You Do For Love' and ‘Doctors’. Her role in ‘Pam fi Duw’ was memorably described as “Gu to the nation” by Golwg, the Welsh language magazine. (She has since carried the role of Gran into real life!). Menna is also a regular on the welsh soap ‘Pobl Y Cwm’ and pops in and out of the series . Menna was thrilled to have been in all three series of the award winning comedy series ‘Little Britain’ - although after she filmed the first series, and due its rather racy content she tried to keep quiet about being in it. Menna was thrilled to appear in Jennifer Saunders’s series about he WI ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ and also appeared in the second series.   Big screen appearances include ‘Human Traffic’, and ‘August’ with Sir Anthony Hopkins in which he starred and directed. It was also performed as a stage version with Theatre Clwyd. Menna also appeared in ‘Plots With A View’ with Christopher Walken and Lee Evans.In 2007 she  was also seen skipping down the red carpet  at the BAFTAS when her role of ‘Beryl’ an animation short was nominated for an award, it was runner up but it did win the welsh BAFTAS! Also in 2007, she was seen in an episode of ‘Casualty’ opposite Roy Hudd, and has recently appeared in ‘Y Pris’ (the price) a brand new Welsh Series based on the cockle industry. Menna was thrilled to be almost upstaged by a blowfish driving a sports car appearing in the first episode of 'Torchwood’. Menna Trussler is an amazing Actress with a great loyalty to Swansea, who is very, very well respected by her peers, this is coupled with a humility which is refreshing, She is also very witty and was a pleasure to interview.


Menna with the Blowfish on Torchwood

Menna Trussler in “Swansea Girls” Swansea Grand Theatre on June 27th 2008