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

Firefighters on strike at East Ham Fire Station last year

Firefighters are now on strike as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pension reforms.

Brenda Lawley selling poppies  in Morrisons Stratford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Step into a station, supermarket or shopping centre in the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and chances are you’ll come across a poppy seller.

A computer-generated image of the phase two development from Barking Road

Months before its completion, the second phase of a major housing development has sold all of its homes.

Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Most read news

There has never been better news on a Friday afternoon.

And it’s said to be revolutionising access to donor sperm throughout the country.

Many people now feel they have to move jobs to better their career and get ahead.

‘Go get him’ said the police officer, and that’s just what the dog did.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition