Wed 31 May 2023

Paula James is JJJJJJackdaw

We caught up with Paula James, who plays 'Jackdaw' in 'The Lost Spells' to ask her how she got here, to our main stage in Keswick, in this fantastic production! Here's what she said...

I was 4 or 5 when I was in my first play at school, and around 7 or 8 when I performed on a theatre stage, which was actually a show at Polka Theatre! So it was very special to perform ‘The Lost Spells’ there during this run.

Paula James’ character ‘Jackdaw’ is summoned to the stage by a spell read by Jay (Miriam Nyarko) and this is the spell…

Speak this name to join a band
Soon you’ll come to understand
There’s strength in numbers, joy and pride
You’ll find the voice that waits inside…


My granddad paid for me to have classical guitar lessons from the age of 8 via the Merton Music Foundation, and I had classical singing lessons when I was in middle school. I did performing arts training at a local Saturday school before joining a youth drama club and later a light operatic society. My drama school training was for acting, and it’s only been during my professional career that I’ve integrated my musicianship into being an actor-muso.

I love instruments, at home I have (and play) a classical guitar, 2 electro-acoustics, an electric and a bass guitar, a mandolin (which I was inspired to buy during this show), a ukelele, an electric upright bass (which is like a double bass), and a digital piano. I also have a flute and violin which I’m going to learn to play one day!

It’s been such an incredible experience bringing ‘The Lost Spells’ to Keswick, and so inspirational, and I’ll be taking that inspiration with me into all my future projects.