Let’s talk about Walford and lots more besides as Gillian Wright comes to Berkhamsted to chat about her career

Gillian Wright
Gillian Wright

What’s it like playing one of the best-known characters in TV drama, whose tangled and tortured storyline is eagerly followed by millions of fans?

You can find out next week when former EastEnders lynchpin Gillian Wright – Jean Slater in the BBC’s flagship soap – comes to Berkhamsted’s Espinosa Arts Centre for the premiere of a very different type of show.

In Conversation With Gillian Wright will be staged at the Northbridge Road venue at 8pm next Thursday, April 3, as part of a varied programme of professional performances planned for the coming months.

Gillian was originally booked for just one episode on EastEnders in 2004, but bosses brought her back into the show a year later for four more episodes.

Regular appearances continued until her character finally moved into Albert Square in November 2007.

She won a Mental Health Media Award for her sensitive portrayal of Jean’s bipolar disorder and in 2012 was named Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards.

She has since left the cast for a second time, but continues a busy career in theatre and as a visiting director and workshop leader at drama schools, universities and with young people with special needs.

She is a co-founder of Pilot Theatre, currently in residence at York’s Theatre Royal.

If you’d like to be there, tickets are £15, £12 and £7 for students, available from the box office on 01442 818283

Also being staged at the Espinosa Centre next Wednesday is the critically-acclaimed Townsend Productions take on the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs featuring drama, music and puppetry.

The curtain goes up on We Will Be Free! at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 for adults, £10 concessions, and a family ticket is available for £34.