Last week, Birmingham’s The Old Rep welcomed their brand new patron Birmingham born actress Annette Badland to present her with a dedicated seat plaque to honour her remarkable career and achievements in the arts. She has joined The Old Rep’s list of iconic patrons including Brian Cox, Toyah Willcox, June Brown and most recently Brian Blessed.
Badland is an Olivier and SAG award nominated actress, she trained in acting at London’s East 15 Acting School and after drama school joined Sir Ian McKellen’s Actors’ Company before eventually moving on to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Best known for her roles in Doctor Who, Cutting It and most recently Aunt Babe in long running soap opera EastEnders. In 1993 she was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Jim Cartwright’s play ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’.
Welcomed at Stage Door by The Old Rep team, Annette was taken on a tour around the building to reminisce about her time here. Badland used to attend The Old Rep as a young girl and was an avid fan of attending Shakespeare plays here.
“The Old Rep was so important to me when I first fell in love with theatre and acting, so I’m utterly delighted, surprised and honoured to be a patron. I used to enjoy Shakespeare because of the feeling of a company which I enjoyed very much, and then I just found it a magical place to be so I used to just come whenever I could, I guess Shakespeare was my first love.”
We sat down with Annette to talk about her outstanding career as an actress in the arts, she spoke about advice she would give to young actors trying to make it in the industry:“Live life. I think you’ve got to keep your life going, you’ve got to remain inquisitive it’s the hope that’s hard to keep going, because you’re constantly knocked back all the time, I’m offered stuff but then I audition for things and they say you were one of two and it’s the other person.”
Sharing her memories of being an audience member, Annette mentioned that she loves modern Physical Theatre. “We don’t get so much improvised pieces and I think it’s really exciting. Seeing people’s faces thrilled to be a part of the experience is just fantastic.” She added “It’s a very interesting way to be going, very engaging, because we need to keep it alive.”
Badland was presented with a dedicated seat in our Stalls with the quote of her choice reading – “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it”.
Photo Credit: Dilpesh Patel and Emma Ferguson