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 Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

A traditional East End pub could be about to become a 298-room hotel.

Yesterday, 15:59

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell has been given a private tour of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by site bosses.

Elizabeth Olympic
Yesterday, 14:12

A 21-year-old man will appear in court next month after climbing onto the roof of Stratford train station during rush hour.

Yesterday, 14:00

The borough’s mayor has attacked government plans to allow more grammar schools to be built as representing a “burning injustice”.

Robin

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now