Digital Theatre+'s first Theatre Lives series draws to a close today with a warm and illuminating final installment from British stage and screen treasure, Imelda Staunton.

Imelda Staunton talks to Digital Theatre+’s Fiona Lindsay, about how her innately Irish comfort with melancholy, and attraction to darker, dysfunctional characters, led Stephen Sondheim to peg her for Rose in his musical, Gypsy.

Imelda describes the intense year-long process of building a 360° character for her BAFTA-winning role in Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake, and how that fully immersive and improvisational creative practice is the closest she’s come to writing.