Jenna Russell: Mother Goose’s Fairy Goodfeather at The Marlowe, Canterbury

PUBLISHED: 10:41 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 17 December 2019

Jenna Russell plays Fairy Goodfeather in Mother Goose at The Marlowe in Canterbury this year

Jenna Russell plays Fairy Goodfeather in Mother Goose at The Marlowe in Canterbury this year


Playing Fairy Goodfeather in Mother Goose at The Marlowe in Canterbury – her first-ever pantomime role – meet Whitstable actor Jenna Russell

Tell us a bit about you

I went to Sylvia Young's Theatre School at 14 and left at 16. It was run from a massive room in a Boys' Club in Covent Garden, fantastic days! I started working at 14, mostly doing TV, but didn't think for a moment I'd still be doing it 38 years later. I've worked hard to keep changing direction, doing TV, film and theatre - I like to mix it up as much as possible, but the great love of my life is singing. I've been nominated three times for an Olivier Award, winning one in 2007, and I was winner of the Theatre World Award for Broadway Debut in 2008. My favourite roles have been in shows by Stephen Sondheim. I live in Whitstable with my better half, actor Ray Coulthard, we've been here for about 15 years now. We have a daughter Betsy who is 10 and a nutty dog called Flossie.

What was EastEnders like?

A couple of years ago I joined EastEnders to play Michelle Fowler, I was asked to be in the show when it started, playing a different character but didn't say yes. It was always something I wanted to do, at some point, so when they asked this time I thought - let's do it! I had a great time, especially working with Letitia Dean (who plays Sharon) We were at school together and she's the funniest person I know.

Have you done panto before?

Mother Goose is my first panto and I can't wait! I usually see panto every year because my best friend John Barr does them and he's been part of the cast at The Marlowe a few times in the past. I've seen the wonderful Ben Roddy doing his stuff and always thought the productions have been fantastic.

It's a massive show and a punishing schedule but I've had my flu jab and I'm raring to go! I'm playing Fairy Goodfeather; there will be flying, singing and lots of laughs. Plus it's 15 minutes up the road from where I live, so not my usual four-hour daily commute into the West End! I love the fact that panto is usually the first point of entry into theatre, especially for children, so I'll be helping introduce a whole new audience into the magic. I'm looking forward to playing with the audience, which I don't get to do normally.

Find out more

Mother Goose is at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury CT1 2AS, until 12 Jan 2020, Tickets £54.50-£13,

More from People

Yesterday, 10:38

Here are 10 tales to make you shiver as we celebrate All Hallows’ Eve | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more

A scream pierced the foggy night, then all was silent, save for the sound of scurrying footsteps. Murder had been committed. Dare you read on?

Read more
Friday, October 23, 2020

Take a step back in time to the good old days with these vintage videos from around Kent

Read more
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

From his home in Broadstairs, Royston Robertson comes up with satirical, topical and sometimes just plain silly cartoons | Words: Caroline Read - Pictures: Manu Palomeque and Royston Robertson

Read more
Thursday, October 15, 2020

Music superstar Kate Bush has always been something of an enigma, but one thing is certain – it all began in Bexleyheath | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

On holiday in Ramsgate 185 years ago, Princess Victoria contracted typhus and ‘went missing’ for three weeks. Had she died, the future of the royal family could have been quite different | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more

Joseph Hewison on how his affinity with dogs led to a full-time career working with them every day

Read more
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

With a tradition of pioneering and inventiveness, Kent can lay claim to some of this country’s greatest inventions | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Thursday, September 17, 2020

80 years after the Battle of Britain, Richard Bates recalls the role his father H.E. Bates played in telling the stories of the famous ‘Few’ | Words: Richard Bates

Read more
Thursday, September 10, 2020

They were petty Kent criminals, sentenced to transportation to New South Wales, who became ‘Australian royalty’ as part of the ‘First Fleet’ | Words: John Wright

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life