Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Life of Gwen Drifts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Life of Gwen Drifts

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Whetstone

There are so many things you want to ask Gwen Taylor about. She has been a television favourite for years - remember A Bit Of A Do and Duty Free?

And she was last on stage in the region in Picasso's Women with supermodel Jerry Hall.

She was also involved with the Monty Python team and is credited as Mrs Big Nose in the film Monty Python's Life Of Brian.

But first things first.

About Alice, which comes to Darlington next week, sees her playing opposite Francis Matthews, who played Paul Temple in the TV detective series of the same name.

Gwen says: "We last worked together 30 years ago on a little series for TV called Middlemen.

"It was an unusual piece by Alan Plater about people who didn't want to use money any more.

"It was great fun to do, but Francis and I haven't seen much of each other since then. It was nice to meet up again."

About Alice, says Gwen, was written about 12 years ago by Charles Laurence.

She says: "He hasn't done much since then. It's one of those things - one day you're flavour of the month and then you're not.

"Then I come along and express an interest in Alice and suddenly we're on the road."

Alice is the main character in a play described as a comic tale with a twist.

"She appealed, because she's very different from anyone else I've ever played," explains Gwen.

"She was a model for this very famous sculptor. She fell in love with him when she was 16 and they were together for over 30 years.

"Although she loved him, they had a very open relationship and had lots of affairs.

"Coming back from his funeral and wondering what she's going to do with the rest of her life, she is approached by a representative of a publishing company which wants to publish a biography of her late husband.

"This young woman has a young man in tow to soften her up, because she's very anti at first. He is played by the gorgeous Michael Greco, who is ex-EastEnders."

Ten weeks in, the tour is going well.

Gwen says: "It's a good show, because the audience is encouraged to listen to a comedy, which isn't always the case. …

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