Beckenham actor in Corrie!

PUBLISHED: 11:33 02 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:39 02 March 2011

Lucy as Raquel

Lucy as Raquel


As the hit play celebrating 50 years of Coronation Street comes to the Churchill Theatre, one actor will treat her performance as a homecoming

Lucy Thackeray says she feels like an imposter performing in Corrie! – a Beckenham girl playing some of the nation’s favourite Northern characters.

But this week the 26-year-old actress who plays Vera Duckworth and 10 other characters feels very much at home as she performs with five other actors in the successful nationally-touring show.

Answering her phone to be told that the Times was tipped-off about her local roots by her mother, Jan, the former East 15 Acting School student replied: “Ah, you spoke to my biggest fan.”

Team Thackeray’s No.1 supporter revealed that her daughter had an affinity with the Churchill Theatre that developed watching pantomimes as a child.

She wasn’t wrong. Thackeray Jr confirmed: “It’s a massive deal for me. When I saw that The Churchill was on the list of tour venues I was like ‘yes!’. This is like a homecoming for me.”

The former Newstead Wood pupil had to work hard to perfect her many roles in Jonathan Harvey’s script, including Elise Tanner, by watching hours of Coronation Street footage – the ultimate omnibus.

“Thank God we have YouTube now which we all spent hours watching for two weeks. We studied all the details of our characters – like we noted the way they would say certain words in odd ways. But it wasn’t just the voices. How they moved and how they used their facial expressions was all important.”

Getting the voice of Vera Duckworth right proved a prize challenge, and Thackeray didn’t shy away despite it ensuring the odd social faux pas.

“Vera has a unique voice that I wanted to get right. I didn’t want to let audiences down as I know that people would know these characters inside out.

“It’s like doing two voices at once, like someone who smokes 60 a day and has had an argument every day of their life – gravelly and nasal. I was practising it all the time: so much that on the tube or at the supermarket I would suddenly come out with a line. I would often be walking along the street practising it thinking nobody was around only to have someone overtake me mid-sentence.”

She added: “I’m really proud that I can invite people who I’ve told I’m an actress to come and see me in a big production. It’s exciting.”

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