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Gallery: Abi Hood returns to her acting roots to perform at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 12:45 13 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:38 15 September 2014

Abi Hood

Abi Hood

A young woman is returning to the stage of her home theatre as a professional actor.

Abi Hood is coming to the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds in November to perform in the play Seven Ages alongside her husband Kevin Tomlinson.

Mrs Hood, who is originally from Bury, has fond memories of her first experiences on the Theatre Royal’s stage, which were in pantomimes with the Angela Morgan School of Dancing, based in Bury.

She was in seven of these pantos performing alongside professional actors.

Mrs Hood, who attended Beyton Middle School and Thurston Upper School, also performed with the Irving Stage Company, the Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and Suffolk Young People’s Theatre.

Theatre Royal Bury
Abi Hood Theatre Royal Bury Abi Hood

Her passion for drama propelled her onto a drama and theatre studies degree at Middlesex University, followed by a postgraduate course at the Oxford School of Drama.

It was at drama school where she first met her husband, who created Kepow Theatre Company which is presenting Seven Ages. The show, at the Theatre Royal for one day only on November 12, looks at the seven stages of life and is a revamped version of a show which was created five years ago.

Mrs Hood, now based in Oxford, said she was so “excited” to finally be returning to the familiar theatre’s stage as a professional actor.

“It was the highlight of the year to perform the pantomime when I was in the pantomime and then when I did Suffolk Youth Theatre it was the highlight to be at the theatre.

014 Abi Hood 3~1 014 Abi Hood 3~1

“I love that theatre. Whenever I go in I get that tingling feeling, ‘I’m back in the theatre again’. It’s great.”

As for many actors, work was sporadic at the start of Mrs Hood’s career, but she described a play at the Royal Court in London called That Face, also featuring former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, as a “turning point”.

The show was nominated for an Olivier award.

She said: “It just kind of opened doors because you put it on your CV and you can get seen for better jobs. It was definitely a turning point.”

Her television work has included a role in police drama The Bill and recently she was the lead in the Snow Queen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

For tickets for Seven Ages call the box office on 01284 769505 or visit www.theatreroyal.org

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