6,000 VIEWS AND THE APPOINTMENT OF MAGGIE OLLERENSHAW!
September 11, 2011 by Stewart Trotter
The Shakespeare Code is thrilled to announce that, on its six thousandth view, a Fellowship has been accepted by the greatest comic actress in the land….
As Brothers and Sisters of The Code well know, Maggie has triumphed on television, stage and screen…
On television she played Florence Ranby (who terrorised the workshop girls) in The House of Elliot and has guest starred in every T.V. series of note…
She has appeared in theatres the length and breadth of Britain, scoring particular hits as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Blanche du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Mrs Pearce in Pygmalion for the garlanded Peter Hall Company.
Her films include Britannia Hospital, A Private Function, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Pierrepoint - a film about England’s most accomplished hangman - for which she received a BAFTA nomination as best supporting actress….
Her tribute to War-time Warbler, Dame Vera Lynn, Sincerely Yours, has played throughout the civilised world…
But she is happy to concede that the rôle for which she is most fêted is….
…..Wavy Mavis in Open All Hours…
Des Lynam (on a BBC programme called It’s My Pleasure) once interviewed late, great Dame Thora Hird…
He asked Dame Thora about her career and what were her favourite bits of T. V. She chose an excerpt from an episode of Open All Hours in which Mavis dithers about which type of soup to buy from Ronnie Barker’s shop owner, Arkwright….
After watching the episode, Dame Thora said:
That Maggie Ollerenshaw! I honestly think she is one of the best comedians we have in this country. Her timing is so good. She makes me fall about and I’ve never seen her in anything when she wasn’t superb. I really raise my hat to her…
THE TRIXIE INTERVIEW
‘An accolade from Dame Thora! You can’t get better than that…’ I thought as I waited for Maggie at The Code’s Head Ofice.
But then I thought…..’Perhaps you can….
YOU CAN GET A FELLOWSHIP FROM THE CODE!!!
Dead on time, Maggie breezed in, fresh from the set of Endeavour – an ITV series about the young Inspector Morse.
As we sat sipping coffee and milk on The Code’s famous sofa, I asked Maggie what her reaction was to being appointed a Fellow.
She coloured slightly, then looked me directly in the eye…
I’m honoured and excited, Trixie….The Code makes Shakespeare accessible and I’m particularly keen on that. I tried to do the same when I worked for Barrie Rutter and the Northern Broadsides Company in Merry Wives and King John….
Barrie Rutter as Falstaff
Barrie has a missionary belief in the dramatic sound and vitality of the Northern voice which brings energy and immmediacy to Shakespeare’s words. It dispels a precious approach…’
I found Maggie’s loyalty to ‘Broadside Barrie’ truly touching…
But I wanted to know about MAGGIE!
Where, for instance, was she born…..?
I’m a very proud Mancunian. I’ve been a supporter of Manchester City Football club since I was a girl and went to matches with my dad at the old ground, Maine Road….
I’m not used to the club being rich and winning matches – it feels very odd….
Your Cat felt instinctively that there was much more behind her fascination with Mancunian football….
Trixie knows when the human heart is involved…
After a little, gentle, sisterly, probing, Maggie blurted it out….
I once went on a date with Dennis Law!
More than that Maggie would not say….
Besides, she is now blissfully married to actor-hunk Geoff Leesley…
In 2007 they tied the knot in City Hall in New York City – a place Maggie LOVES and where, in 1998, she actually LIVED! (She had a coveted Green Card).
Maggie and Geoff had a fabulous pre-honeymoon road trip in California….
Highway 101 has got to be one of the most amazing roads in the universe…
Maggie holidays in Turkey so often she’s practically a CITIZEN of Kalkan….
….and as ‘a fish-eating veggie’, the Turkish cuisine is exactly to her taste…
The Turks can do fifty things with an aubergine….
At this point a Daimler screeched to a halt outside Head Office and a Driver dashed up tbe stairs…
Maggie was urgently needed on set….
Completely unhurried, Maggie stood up from the sofa and reached into a bag.
Here’s a photo of me, Trixie. You might find it interesting…
Then she was gone…
The photo showed Maggie outside Grauman’s Theatre in Los Angeles. She was putting her hands into a cast of Bettie Davies’s handprints….
The fit was exact….
© Trixie the Cat September, 2011
FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF ERROR….
The Shakespeare Code wishes it to be known that Maggie Ollerenshaw now has the inalienable right to place the designated letters, F. S. C. after her name, as in…
Maggie Ollerenshaw, F. S. C.
She has elected to take reponsibility for all matters concerning Twelfth Night.
IN VINCULIS, INVICTUS
Please note that whilst still an Inductee on The Code’s ‘Roll of Honour’, Maggie Ollerenshaw, F. S. C., was kind enough to endorse Chief Agent Trotter’s Biography.