Search

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

11:49 21 March 2014

EastEnders actress Ann Mitchel

EastEnders actress Ann Mitchel

Archant

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

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.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:42
Some of the portraits created by young carers

Young carers have spent the summer working on a visual arts project that has helped form a support network.

Yesterday, 15:08
Mohammed Hossain (picture: Javier Casado)

A rickshaw driver from Plaistow sexually assaulted a young clubber after offering her a free ride home, a court has heard.

London
Yesterday, 12:56
The launch of the night Tube, which is due to serve a number of Newham stations, has been postponed

The new night Tube service, which was due to be launched on September 12, has been officially suspended until an agreement can be reached between the operator and workers, London Underground has confirmed.

Yesterday, 11:51
More than half of the borough's population was born overseas. Picture: PA.

More than three quarters (76.7 per cent) of babies born in 2014 in the borough were to mothers from overseas, the highest proportion in the country, data released by the Office for National Statistics show.

United Kingdom

Most read news

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder