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INTERVIEW with actress Susan Penhaligon who plays Fairy iPod in Sleeping Beauty

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

  • GOOD FAIRY: Susan Penhaligon at Broomhill Sculpture Gardens. Mike Southon.Ref: BNMS20131011C-110_C

  • SHOW: Susan on stage. Andy Robinson of J&A Cameras + Photography.

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SUSAN Penhaligon plays a good fairy with a difference in this year's panto Sleeping Beauty at the Queen's Theatre. Fairy iPod is a gizmo-loving gran complete with woolly beret, cardy and a Cornish accent. Journal2 finds out a little bit more about the actress, famed for her roles in the controversial drama Bouquet Of Barbed Wire and TV sitcom A Fine Romance.

Where do you live?

On a Dutch barge in London. It's fantastic. I have central heating so it's more like a house boat.

Do you like the West Country?

I am Cornish and I just feel at home in the West Country. As you get older you get a feeling for your roots and my roots are in Cornwall.

How long did you live in Cornwall?

From the age of 5 until 18 when I went to grammar school. I had a Cornish granny who made pasties and saffron cakes. I was fed a lot about what being Cornish meant and my family go back to the 17th century, so they are long roots.

What do you like about returning to Cornwall?

I love the Atlantic Sea. I love the West Penwith area, St Ives, St Just and Land's End. Just to be among the granite rocks and the sand while looking out at the sea is the best thing in the world for me.

What was your favourite acting role?

I did A Fine Romance in the Eighties with Judi Dench and Michael Williams. We all got on so well and she was a wonderful person to work with.

What role do you most get recognised for?

I don't think people do recognise me that much. I think people's memories are quite short. You have to be on television all the time to be recognised. I don't mind that though. I don't need to be recognised.

What's the best thing about panto?

It's about the little kids you are entertaining. Out of that huge audience you get, there might be a few of them who get really sold on the theatre and never stop going. They get the theatre bug.

What makes a good panto fairy?

A good fairy has to love the children, tell the story, make the children believe in her magic and be very adept with her wand.

What would your three wishes be for 2004?

That my son returns safely from New Zealand. That there is more happiness around. That there isn't an old person sitting with three overcoats on and not switching the fire on because they can't afford it.

Susan Penhaligon plays Fairy iPod at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple. The show runs until Saturday, January 4. Box office: 01271 324242.

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