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Former 2point4 Children star Julia Hills in Cambridge next week with the play, The Mirror Crack'd

A familiar face on our television screens, the actress will be playing Dolly Bantry at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd.

Having appeared in many well-known TV series, including 2point4 Children (where she played Rona), Peak Practice, Casualty and EastEnders, Julia Hills is also a very experienced theatre actor.

In The Mirror Crack'd - adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff and directed by Melly Still - times are changing.

Girls are wearing trousers and Hollywood has come to a sleepy English village in the shape of a beautiful film star.

Miss Marple begins to question her place in the world until a mysterious death calls into question the past of all those present.

This new play, based on Agatha Christie’s novel and also featuring Susie Blake (Coronation Street, Mrs Brown’s Boys) and Simon Shepherd (Peak Practice), explores how we all colour our own memories and our own truths to disguise the darkness that lies within.

The Mirror Cracked. Picture: Helen Murray
The Mirror Cracked. Picture: Helen Murray

Speaking to the Cambridge Independent from Salisbury, Julia said: "We're getting good audiences and they seem to be really enjoying it, so that's fantastic."

She continued: "This is an Agatha Christie as you probably haven't seen it before, and it's been really heartwarming that the audiences in Salisbury who may not have realised that it wasn't going to be a drawing room set, with people just standing round talking about the clues, have really embraced it.

"It opens with just a chair on the stage and it's got amazing lighting and lots of sound effects - and it's very visual and cinematic and quite a different sort of production.

"Obviously the story is Agatha Christie, and the whodunit is there, but you also get levels of visual interest and satisfaction that I think may be quite original."

The Mirror Crack'd. Picture: Helen Murray
The Mirror Crack'd. Picture: Helen Murray

On the character she plays, Julia said: "She's called Mrs Dolly Bantry and she's Jane Marple's best friend in the village.

"And I think all the characters in this version show that they're not necessarily who you think they are at the beginning...

"The whole play, the whole script and the production is about things not being what they seem, so people's memories of the actual events is always slightly different, as it is in real life - we all remember things slightly differently from somebody else.

"My character, she appears to be quite a county lady at the beginning, with rather traditional conservative views, but you find out more about her as the play goes on, things in her life that may not have gone quite right - and you do with all the characters."

The Mirror Crack'd is on at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Tuesday, March 19 to Saturday, March 23.

The play starts at 7.45pm each day, with 2.30pm matinee performances on the Thursday and the Saturday.

Tickets: £20-£35 (all ticket prices include a £3 per-ticket booking fee)

Box Office: 01223 503333, or cambridgeartstheatre.com.

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