Husband and wife share stage

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Real-life husband and wife Corrinne Wicks (Emmerdale, Doctors) and Tom Butcher (The Bill, Doctors) get to share the stage again in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest at the Capitol, Horsham, from Tuesday-Saturday, September 11-15.

They were together in the play when Middle Ground Theatre Company revived it five years ago; and they are together again now for Middle Ground’s new outing.

“Tom and I actually met when we were doing Doctors,” Corrinne said, “and we have been lucky enough to work together several times. We seem to be becoming like Dulcie Gray and Michael Denison!

“But it works well. We work well when we are apart physically which is good because you can be away quite a lot in this business, but we are always very good at spending time together 24 hours a day when we are working together.

“Tom has just spent 17 weeks on tour with Doctor In The House with Joe Pasquale. I think it got a little bit wild on some nights. I think Joe was allowed to go off script as much as he liked, but this is much more disciplined for him now.”

In fact, now it’s Tom keeping the discipline. It was Tom who insisted on going through the entire play with Corinne during a week’s break in rehearsal.

“A lot of actors would never dream of going out with a fellow actor; a lot of actors purposely find partners out of the business. But personally I have got a penchant for actors! I rather like them. It’s just, I suppose, that you can understand each other. Certainly when you aren’t working, it can be terribly difficult, but it is good just to have somebody you can talk it through with – and also it can be terribly useful to have someone that you can talk to about the process of acting.”

As for the Wilde, Gwendolen is a wonderful part to play: “It’s great to be able to play her again at my age! It’s amazing what a bit of make-up and some bright lights can do. But I quite like the fact that it is a slightly older cast with Algernon and Earnest. Sometimes you see them in their 20s and I don’t think that’s quite right. You see productions when they are just little boys. I love the fact that it is older guys now saying these ridiculous things!”

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