BAFTA nominee Gwen Taylor stars in Ali Milles' haunting new thriller

BAFTA nominee Gwen Taylor might be in her 80s, but she’s still living life at full-throttle, and is currently starring in the UK tour of Ali Milles’ spine-tingling new play, The Croft.

Produced by Original Theatre (the company behind the recent tour of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art), this haunting drama was originally scheduled to show at the Belgrade Theatre from 15-18 April, and in light of the current lockdown, has now been made available to stream online.

But before that, Vicky Edwards spoke to her about thrillers, theatre and her touring prerequisites: a comfy bed with an en suite…

Gwen Taylor is a bit marvellous. Something of a national treasure now, her on-screen credits are numerous, including well-loved TV shows like Coronation Street, Heartbeat, A Bit of A Do and Duty Free, as well as a number of high-profile films including The Lady in the Van and Monty Python’s Life of Brian. She’s also a veteran of the stage, and over the years, has won numerous awards for her work.

But almost as remarkable as her career itself is the fact that at the age of 80 she is still living life at a lively pace, embracing a weekly touring schedule that would daunt younger actors.

“I am thriving on it. I love to work and I love a challenge,” she says, a beaming smile confirming her genuine passion for schlepping up and down the country to perform.

“Although,” she adds, “my husband comes with me and we do stay in hotels these days. I did ‘digs’ for years, but now I like an en suite and a comfy bed.”