Spiro's first acting job after graduating from drama school was with the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Boys From Syracuse and Macbeth. Her many theatre credits include As You Like It, Teechers, The Tragic Roundabout, Jumpers, On the Piste, Roots, How the Other Half Loves and Glyn and It, opposite Penelope Keith.
Spiro played Barbara Windsor in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick at the National Theatre, a production she credits as her first big break, which "open a lot of doors". She has also appeared in the Minerva Theatre production of Funny Girl and the first West End revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce.
Spiro played Rachel in Mike Leigh's production of Two Thousand Years at the National Theatre. This was the first Jewish role of her career. She said:
"For English/Jewish artists in this business, we’re English first and the Jewish thing comes down the line. Whereas in the United States, Jewishness is a much celebrated thing. Jewishness is a part of their very being.
"Here, I think, we repress it and, far from celebrating it, almost shy away from it. After Two Thousand Years, I suddenly felt that there is a place for people like me. Until that point I hadn’t had a career playing Jewish people. I had got that stuff out of the way by the time I came to play Fanny Brice who is very much a Jewish character."
In 2009, Spiro played Maria in the Donmar Warehouse production of Twelfth Night at the Wyndham's Theatre, alongside Derek Jacobi, and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at the Open Air Theatre. Most recently, she appeared in the acclaimed Open Air Theatre production of Hello, Dolly!, playing Dolly Levi.
Discussing whether she prefers acting in the theatre to television or film, Spiro said: "I think theatre prefers me. These days you have to do both, but it never feels as if the TV casting people are beating down my door to offer me work. I just feel that in this business you are lucky if you’re doing something you enjoy."
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Famous quotes containing the word theatre:
“Mankinds common instinct for reality ... has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, lifes supreme mystery is hidden. We tolerate no one who has no capacity whatever for it in any direction. On the other hand, no matter what a mans frailties otherwise may be, if he be willing to risk death, and still more if he suffer it heroically, in the service he has chosen, the fact consecrates him forever.”
—William James (18421910)
“The History of the world is not the theatre of happiness. Periods of happiness are blank pages in it, for they are periods of harmonyperiods when the antithesis is in abeyance.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“People fall out of windows, trees tumble down,
Summer is changed to winter, the young grow old
The air is full of children, statues, roofs
And snow. The theatre is spinning round,
Colliding with deaf-mute churches and optical trains.
The most massive sopranos are singing songs of scales.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)