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Vanessa Greatorex


I remember having minor roles in three plays:

A prostitute and an assassin in Jean Genet’s ‘The Balcony’ (directed by Jeremy Carden in 1983/4). I had to hold an air pistol for the assassin role. The director wanted to make sure I’d feel comfortable handling it, so during a rehearsal in the Trent Building he insisted on me shooting a pellet into one of the walls of the tunnel to Portland Building. It was still there when I graduated a couple of years later. Simon Catchpole, who played the Bishop, attended LAMDA after graduating and became a stage manager at the Opera House in Covent Garden.

Glumdalca in Henry Fielding’s 18th C comedy ‘Tom Thumb the Great’ (1984). This was hilarious casting, as Glumdalca is supposed to be a giantess and, at 5ft 3in, I was shorter than nearly all the characters I was supposed to dwarf. Can’t remember the director’s name (Tony???), but I think Andy Katz played the part of Princess Huncamunca. I had gastric flu the first two nights, but carried on regardless, complete with massively back-combed hair which took hours to untangle afterwards. My final line in the play, uttered after dramatically falling headlong, was ‘I am dead.’ I accidentally discovered that smoothing my skirt down decently after expiring would raise a laugh.

Mrs Tasker (complete with vile mustard velvet hat, which made my house-mates giggle the whole time I was on stage) in ‘Mr Justice Cocklecarrot and the Case of the Twelve Red-Bearded Dwarves’, directed by Simon Fairnington (either 1984 or 1985). A very quirky play. My character was a peculiar old woman who used to push dwarves into the houses of complete strangers. Students played six of the dwarves, and plastic garden gnomes played the rest.

Writer, editor, university lecturer and mum. My experience of acting at Nottingham has been invaluable when reading bedtime stories, giving lectures and dealing with difficult people in business meetings. No experience is ever wasted!

Bio last updated 2015-10-05, submit updates.


English Studies