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East End actress cites “cockney matriarchs” as influences

14:35 28 February 2014

Actress Juliette Power is keen to emphasise the importance of strong female characters in contemporary drama.

The Newham native is promoting her role in the classic play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at Barons Court Theatre, below the Curtain’s Up pub in west London.

The story follows passionate and opinionated Miss Brodie, a schoolmistress whose unconventional way of teaching exerts a powerful influence over her select group of pupils.

Power says the complex character of Miss Brodie is what makes the play so interesting.

She said: “The female is the lead and that is central. She plays the men off against one another.

“I think it is important that a heroine is the protagonist of it all.

“As I am from east London I have always had strong women in my life – cockney matriarchs. As you watch theatre you see it is so important to have a strong female at the helm.”

The play explores themes of trust between adults and children and the boundary of how much children should know.

Power, who plays one of Miss Brodie’s pupils, said: “It hasn’t been done for a few years but the themes in it are very current.

“There is a blurred line in what she talks to the children about and now people say kids are growing up too fast.”

The play’s combination of dark, serious undertones and comedy make for a varied and enjoyable show.

The play runs until Saturday, March 8. Tickets are £12, with £10 concessions. Call 020 8932 4747 to book.

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