Claire Sweeney - 'my first Mother's Day is going to be great'
PUBLISHED: 00:00 09 March 2015
Copyright (c) 2014 Rex Features. No use without permission.
At the age of 43 Claire Sweeney will enjoy her first Mother's Day since the birth of her son writes Paul Mackenzie
Claire Sweeney knows plenty about the ups and downs of relationships and she has now turned her experiences into a stage show.
The former Brookside star broke up with her fiancé early last year, just weeks before she discovered she was pregnant but after the birth of Jaxon, she and businessman Daniel Reilly rekindled their romance.
The couple who were engaged before the break-up are now looking forward to their first Mother’s Day as a family, but Claire wouldn’t be drawn on whether their wedding plans are now back on track. ‘We have been far too busy with Jaxon to think about marriage. It’s something we haven’t discussed. But my first Mother’s Day is going to be great,’ she said.
Claire’s on-off-on again relationship is typical of the stories she used as inspiration when writing Sex in Suburbia. The show explores dating, motherhood and men and Claire, who also takes a starring role in the production, said: ‘It’s the story of all our lives, you think you’ve found the perfect partner and things go wrong.
‘People can expect a good fun night out. They will be able to relate to the stories in the show. There’s a bit of pathos in there and some great music and a lot of laughs. It’s based on disastrous dating stories and it’s hysterical.
‘I spent the best part of two years writing the show with my friend and I found writing was really tedious and hard work because we didn’t know if we were funny and if people would laugh. We would read it to friends and they’d just stare at us, it’s not until you have an audience that you know.
‘It premiered last year at the Royal Court in Liverpool and that gave me a real sense of achievement. When you have actors delivering your lines and getting big laughs, it’s a great feeling but the writing was a long, laborious process and I’m not thinking about writing anything else, at least not in the near future.’
She may not be planning any more writing, but she’s unlikely to stand still for long. As well as looking after six-month-old Jaxon, Claire has also started presenting a weekly radio show and is spending three months on tour with her show, Sex in Suburbia. The 20 date tour reaches Liverpool this month, with two nights at the Empire Theatre
Claire was born in Walton in April 1971 and as a young girl spent weekends working in her father’s butcher’s shop. After leaving stage school in London she landed the role of Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside in 1991 and has also appeared in Clocking Off and Merseybeat and was a regular host of Loose Women. Her career has also included singing on cruise ships and scores of performances musicals and she is looking forward to stepping back on stage in her home city.
‘I had my baby in Liverpool and I spent most of the last eight months there before I had to be back in London for work. I love London but Liverpool is still home and it’ll be great to be back there with Sex in Suburbia. The reaction of the audience at the Royal Court last year was amazing.
‘Touring will be difficult, though but the producer has paid for a nanny to be with us so Jaxon will always be there, which is great to know. But acting is my job, it’s the only thing I know how to do and touring is a part of that, so you just have to get on with it.
‘Being a working mum is hard. It’s a balancing act but it’s got to be done. I’m not a kept woman, I want to work and I need to work to keep paying the bills. I’m in a bubble at the moment, just trying to do the best for my son.’ Claire, who will spend her first Mother’s Day as a mum on stage in Brighton, suffered two miscarriages before she gave birth to Jaxon – who she has called her ‘miracle baby’ – in September.
She said: ‘Jaxon is brilliant, it was well worth the wait. I think motherhood is a great leveller. I talk to other mums all the time and it doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity or not, you still have the same issues to deal with, the same anxieties.’
Sex in Suburbia is at the Liverpool Empire Theatre (0844 871 7660) on March 30 and 31, Southport Theatre (01704 500036) on April 1 and the Palace Theatre in Manchester (0844 871 3019) on April 28.