COUNTY NEWS: Sussex actress lands role in Beauty and the Beast movie

An actress from Sussex has landed a part in a movie, starring alongside some of the big names in the acting world.

Allison Harding
Allison Harding

Allison Harding, 52, features as head washerwoman in Beauty and the Beast, which is released in cinemas on Friday (March 17).

The film has a star-studded cast, which includes Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, and Sir Ian McKellen, who starred as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings franchise.

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Allison said: “I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast two years ago and after five auditions was lucky to get a part in the featured ensemble as Head Washerwoman.

“More than 2,000 people applied and the ensemble was whittled down to 22 people.

“After five weeks of rehearsal the filming started.

“It was a summer of laughter and pure joy working alongside the stars Emma Watson, Josh Gadd, Luke Evans and Emma Thompson and Ian McKellan, not to mention Kevin Kline.

“We are involved in all the big musical numbers including Gaston, Kill the Beast, and Belle’s opening number, as well as being integral to the acting scenes. We are all very excited for its release date today.

“Being immortalised in a Disney movie doesn’t get better than that, apart from maybe a nice role opposite Julie Walters.”

Allison has lived in Hastings for 15 years and been an actress for 30 years, appearing in mainly musicals in London’s West End London.

She has starred as Miranda in Return to the Forbidden Planet at The Cambridge Theatre.

Allison also had a role as Baruska in Once at The Phoenix Theatre London and most recently The Girls written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, which is now enjoying a London run.

She also is currently starring as Sister Mary Teresa in Sister Act at The London Palladium and is currently on tour with X Factor winner Alexandra Burke playing Deloris and directed by Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revell-Horwood.

Allison said: “Alexandra Burke is a truly wonderful performer and singer, a bundle of raw talented energy.

“Craig is also a delight to be directed by and gives you lots of space to explore the piece and make it your own. Sister Act is touring the country until September.”

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