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Look Who's in mystery play

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DR Who enthusiasts are swelling the audience at the latest Swansea summer rep show, on now, what with Katy Manning in the cast.

The actress won the hearts of many as the perky and kinky-booted Jo Grant, opposite Jon Pertwee, reprising the role opposite the current incarnation of the time-traveller in The Sarah Jane Adventures. But for now she crops up as a batty Welsh medium Blodwyn Morgan in Death By Fatal Murder, opposite Leslie Grantham and Richard Gibson at Swansea's Grand Theatre. The piece sees the hapless Inspector Pratt back on the beat at Bagshot House, getting embroiled in a baffling mystery, aided and abetted by Miss Maple and Constable Thomkins. But danger soon looms with an unexpected arrival and a frightening suggestion by the clairvoyant.

Katy says she is having a ball working on the show: "I didn't realise my character was Welsh until I went to the read-through - I suppose the clue was in the name. I really should have known! But I hope I will do the accent justice in front of a Welsh audience. We are having a lot of fun with the show. It is a spoof of all the whodunits we know and love, so I'm not sure I know what is going on absolutely all of the time, but it is very enjoyable."

Katy is enjoying being back on British soil after more than 20 years away in Australia, where she lives with Aussie actor Barry Crocker.

"I never thought I would be a flag-waving person, but although I absolutely love the Australian people it is so nice to be back in Britain and to be in a touring company so I can see so much of the country."

She, Leslie and Richard went along to the TV and film memorabilia show at Margam Park last weekend, where she was no doubt swamped by Dr Who fans. She says being part of the iconic show so early on in her career was a gift.

"I was very close to Jon Pertwee and everybody on the show was so enthusiastic about it and so committed to what we were doing. In those days of course you couldn't do the effects on a computer because computers were the size of a room. They actually had to make the noises of the creatures themselves. And being part of it before bluescreen - we were using what was I suppose the earliest version of bluescreen - a lot of the time we were acting to nothing. It is the ultimate improvisation. And if you didn't see it then the audience won't see it."

Katy played another iconic woman long-term, with an illuminating portrayal of Bette Davis in Me And Jezebel.

The play grew out of a true story which saw Bette pitch up at a fan's house and outstay her welcome by a month.

With a film persona as strong as Bette's it was often hard to see who the real person was, beyond that medusa-like caricature. But, says Katy, that was one of the pleasures of the piece.

"I loved Bette before I did the show and I loved her more coming out of it. The wonderful thing about it was that you got to see Bette out of her comfort zone, with a 4-year-old child, and in domestic circumstances." ?Death By Fatal Murder continues until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm.

GRAPHIC: WHODUNIT? Death By Fatal Murder deals a body blow at Swansea Grand Theatre this week.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2011-08-04). Look Who's in mystery play. South Wales Evening Post p. 38.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Look Who's in mystery play." South Wales Evening Post [add city] 2011-08-04, 38. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Look Who's in mystery play." South Wales Evening Post, edition, sec., 2011-08-04
  • Turabian: "Look Who's in mystery play." South Wales Evening Post, 2011-08-04, section, 38 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Look Who's in mystery play | url= | work=South Wales Evening Post | pages=38 | date=2011-08-04 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
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