Panto time for Corrie’s Amanda
MATTHEW GOODING email@example.com PANTOMIME has enjoyed a revival in recent years, much to the delight of Amanda Barrie. The former Coronation Street and Bad Girls actress is getting back to her roots by playing the Fairy Godmother in Cindere
PANTOMIME has enjoyed a revival in recent years, much to the delight of Amanda Barrie.
The former Coronation Street and Bad Girls actress is getting back to her roots by playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage.
"I've been doing panto since I was three years old, so it's always been in my blood," she said.
"I remember in the 70s and 80s panto wasn't as popular as it is today.
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"I don't know whether it was down to political correctness coming into play or what, but you didn't get the kind of audiences you see now.
"I'm so pleased there's been an upturn in interest over the last few years.
"There aren't many better ways for the whole family to go out together and have a good time.
"A lot of what you see on television now is so depressing that I think the audiences are sometimes just relieved to be entertained."
Amanda made her name in a number of British comedy films in the 60s and 70s, and played the lead role in Carry on Cleo.
She joined the cast of Coronation Street as Alma Sedgewick in 1981, and enjoyed several major storylines with on-screen husband Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs).
After leaving the soap in 2001, she played Bev Tull in prison drama Bad Girls for three years.
Amanda made a successful return to pantomime last year in Jack and the Beanstalk at Canterbury's Marlow Theatre, where she worked with writer Paul Hendy, who has penned this year's adaptation of Cinderella.
She said: "When I was in Corrie our contracts didn't allow us to do pantomime, so I was really excited about getting back into it last year.
"Even though Cinderella is a classic story, every production is a little bit different.
"There's quite a lot of improvisation involved - you never know what's going to happen next."
Amanda will be helping Cinderella meet her Prince Charming until the end of January, and will then decide where the next chapter of her illustrious career will take her.
"Panto is quite tiring and the schedule is relentless. I'll have to take stock of things in January and see what I'm going to do next," she said.
Cinderella is running at the Gordon Craig Theatre from December 1 to January 27.
Tickets are on sale now, costing £12-£19.50. For more information, call the box office on 08700 131 030, or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk.