Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

EastEnders actress urges for more to be done to stop acting becoming elitist

EastEnders actress Ann Mitchel EastEnders actress Ann Mitchel

Friday, March 21, 2014
11:49 AM

EastEnders actress Ann Mitchell urged for more to be done to stop acting becoming elitist during a visit to the University of East London.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

EastEnders actress Ann Mitchell with Philip HedleyEastEnders actress Ann Mitchell with Philip Hedley

Mitchell, who plays Cora Cross in the BBC soap, toured the Stratford campus which is around the corner from where she learnt her trade at the E15 acting school, which was based in Plaistow during her time.

“What is happening at the moment is very frightening,” she said. “Very few young men and women from working class backgrounds are applying for drama school because they are petrified that they will not be able to pay back their loans.”

Mitchell said she was “part of the luckiest generation” of actors as she trained in the Sixties during the revolution in British theatre which saw the breakthrough of working class actors such as Albert Finney and Michael Caine.
As someone who grew up in the East End herself, born in Stepney Green and later moving to Plaistow, she says she was always keen on abolishing working class stereotypes.

“From when I was a child and I was watching the movies I was determined that I would be there representing my people and my background,” she said. “I was very aware of being patronised as a child.”

Mitchell says her EastEnders character is inspired by the strong female role models which she experienced while growing up.

“Cora, whether you love her or loathe her, she’s someone that you’d like in your corner, just like the women I grew up with,” she said. “I wanted to bring a kind of glamour that the women had in my background and lose the stereotypes because they came from the upper classes.”

Mitchell was visiting the university with theatre director Philip Hedley who trained alongside her at E15 and spent 25 years as director emeritus of Theatre Royal Stratford East.

They said they were impressed with facilities on offer and admitted they were very different to their experience - which required them to polish the theatre school’s floor on Fridays.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

More news

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Newham Recorder on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Newham businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Newham Recorder, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »