After selling out and smashing box office records for two weeks in 2017, Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes returns to the Hippodrome’s stage in February. We met with dancer Ashley Shaw to find out what her dressing room essentials will be for the tour…

Hi Ashley, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in The Red Shoes:

I’m reprising the role of Victoria Page which I originally performed three years ago and I can’t wait to return to the role. It’s probably my favourite role I’ve performed, as it’s so special when you get to create a new role from scratch. It’s really exciting to revisit it and see what you can do to make that role even better than last time!

How long would you say you usually spend in your dressing room on a show day?

I love being in my dressing room! When we have our classes I don’t tend to leave the theatre, so on a single show day I can spend up to four hours in my dressing room. We have classes daily when we tour, we work on our techniques with different teachers to keep our development going and also to warm us up for the show, so I spend a lot of time in my dressing room to wind down.

What essentials do you always take with you for your dressing rooms on tour?

I tend to deck it out as much as possible! I always have cards and photos blu-tacked around my mirror to make it feel homely. I bring a pillow and blanket to take a nap in between shows as well! I share a dressing room with Cordelia Braithwaite who shares the role of Victoria with me and we tend to bring an Ipad as well to watch some TV in between shows – we love a murder mystery documentary! We just try our best to make it a cosy space to relax in.

If you were only allowed to have one item in your dressing room, what would it be?

Probably a bed or a couch! It’s a real essential – we’re always grateful for a space to lay down and relax.

What’s the one thing you wish you could have with you in your dressing room that you don’t have?

My little dog Dexter! I would love to have him with me at all times! I’ve only had him for about eight months so maybe I should try to bring him with me on tour…

Do you have any dressing room rituals before a show?

I actually try to steer clear of rituals and superstitions, you don’t know what the day will throw at you and touring means everything is different all the time. I just try to make sure I’m prepared and not rushing for anything before a show.

Have you got any requests to make you feel at home in your dressing room at the Hippodrome?

Birmingham Hippodrome is one of our much-loved venues as we always have the three essentials; a couch, a TV and a fridge! We love coming here and can’t wait to come back in February.

You can see Ashley in The Red Shoes from Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 February.