EastEnders actor gives advice to GCU scriptwriters

03 November 2015

EastEnders actor Ann Mitchell

EastEnders actor Ann Mitchell

Scriptwriters from Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) MA TV Fiction writing programme were critiqued by EastEnders actor Ann Mitchell, yesterday (Monday, November 2).

The award-winning actor discussed the challenges writers face when creating scenes for one of Britain's biggest soap operas.

Students on the University's flagship postgraduate programme presented scripts they had written for Ann's matriarchal character, Cora Cross.

Ann shared the actor's perspective and spoke of her loyalty towards her onscreen character: "It is a great responsibility not only to the character but to the issues such as homelessness that are depicted in the storylines," she said.

During her long career in film and television, Ann has led in three of the most successful British TV Series starring as the majestic but vulnerable Dolly Rawlins in Widows Series one and two and She’s Out written by Lynda La Plante, for which Ann received the Pye Award for female to have made the greatest impact on television.

She is also a prominent theatre actor and was nominated for a Laurence Oliver Award for Through the Leaves. Her work at the Citizens Theatre during the tenure of Giles Havergal gained her acclaim from Scottish audiences and admiration for the city.

"It is in my heart, Glasgow, and a city that I find immensely creative. There's a boldness in Glasgow's style which I find fascinates me."

Ann was also visiting the Havana Glasgow Film Festival, the brainchild of writer and director Eirene Houston, and artist Alexandra Gardner's work at the Leiper Gallery.

GCU MA TV Fiction Writing lecturer Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro said: "It was an honour to have an actor of Ann’s calibre and reputation visit and to offer guidance to students on their scripts. Hearing lessons from Ann's experience will no doubt help our writers to consider the actors' perspective and help them to hone their writing."

The MA Television Fiction Writing programme is the only dedicated postgraduate course of its type in the UK. It is an intensive one-year programme which gives aspiring TV drama writers, from all backgrounds, the tools and industry contacts needed to embark upon a career in television fiction writing.