St Trinian’s schoolgirl on stage

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Original St Trinian’s schoolgirl Annabelle Heath takes to the stage for Shoreham-based Adur Theatre Company who present three one-act plays at The Shoreham Centre in Pond Road from September 9-11.

Annabelle, who played alongside George Cole and Alastair Sim in the original St Trinian’s movie, features in the longest of the three pieces, Camp Confidence, a comedy written by Diana Raffle and directed by Jane Frost.

The piece tells the story of four women lacking in self-esteem who take a course in self-confidence. One is agoraphobic, one is claustrophobic, one is afraid of birds - and then there is Annabelle’s character, an obsessive cleaner, for which Annabelle slips into a Yorkshire accent.

“It all derives from the fact that her mother caught her in the Jacuzzi with Jeremy when she was younger and she now feels very dirty!

“It’s all comedy. There is some bitter-sweet stuff in it, and there are some very funny lines. There is a little twist in the story and one or two poignant moments.”

Annabelle has been with the company for four or five years, kicking off with an appearance as an airman - complete with big moustache and flying helmet - in ‘Allo, ‘Allo.

But in fact, her acting days began in her childhood when she appeared as one of the original St Trinian’s girls in the The Belles Of St Trinian’s, released in 1954.

“It was fantastic. I never knew all those years ago that it would still be held in such interest. I was only a child at the time, and in those days you didn’t see many men dressed as women. But it didn’t seem odd to see Alastair Sim (as headmistress Millicent Fritton) because he was so natural. We didn’t actually see him as the man (Clarence Fritton) in the film. Our scenes were with him as the headmistress.

“When you are doing a scene together, people don’t really chat during rehearsals, but if he had to have some contact with us, he would be very kind and nice. But we just didn’t have the chance for in-depth conversations.”

Annebelle went on to become the body double/stunt girl in for Diana Rigg’s character Emma Peel in the iconic TV Series The Avengers - just until Rigg’s more usual stand-in passed her driving test.

Until that point, though, if you saw Rigg’s character pulling up in a car, the chances were that you were actually looking at Annabelle…

/blob/ The other two one-acts plays in the Adur Theatre Company triple bill are Peas and Carrot, both written by David Tristram and directed by Julian Batstone. Peas tells the story of a couple on a blind date arranged by a dating agency, and Carrot is about the managing director of an ailing company and his unusual request to the union rep.

Tickets priced at £10 are 01273 463730 or book online on www.adurtheatre.co.uk.