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Writer-actress in double success at awards
6:00pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
Grandmother Annie Cooper has launched a new career for herself after winning a national award for writing and performing her own plays.
Mrs Cooper, 58, from All Cannings, near Devizes, said she was shocked and delighted to hear her name called out at the Solo Festival awards in London last week as the winner of the best original play for her double monologue The Decision.
She said: “I had to audition in a room on the first floor of the Lord Stanley pub in Camden on the hottest day of the year and was wearing one costume beneath the other one so I could do a quick change. I was boiling.
“I was amazed when they told me I had been nominated for best actress.
“On the awards night, when they announced the results, I was runner-up, and I was pretty pleased about that.
“Then they went on to the best play category and my name was called out. It was a bit of a surprise.”
The Decision is about two very different women.
The first monologue concerns Esme, an alcoholic who must decide whether to accept help for her condition.
Then there is Myra, a 53-year-old woman who has discovered she is expecting her first child. She is sitting in the waiting room at a termination clinic and must decide whether to stay or go.
Mrs Cooper, who has been writing all her adult life, has called upon her ten years’ experience as a physiotherapist at Green Lane Hospital in Devizes as the seed corn for her plays.
She recently toured the country with another of her monologues under the banner of the Bootleg Theatre Company and performed in the Cellar Bar at the Bear Hotel.
Now Bootleg has called upon her talents as an actress in a new play called Squeaky Clean, by Roger Goldsmith, which will run for three weeks from September 3 at the New Wimbledon Studio in London.
Mrs Cooper said: “I am playing a 40-year-old woman and I hope the audience will accept me in the role.”
Mrs Cooper, whose husband Peter was formerly housing officer at Kennet District Council, has two grown-up daughters and two grandchildren, aged ten and six.
Anyone who would like to see Mrs Cooper perform The Decision can do so at the Salisbury Fringe Festival on October 6.
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