EastEnders star talks One Man, Two Guvnors as it comes to Aylesbury next week

Emma Barton as Dolly

Emma Barton and Gavin Spokes

Shaun Williamson

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THREE former EastEnders stars are performing in the touring show of the funny and quick moving, One Man, Two Guvnors. Emma Barton, who played Honey Mitchell in the soap, talks about Celebrity Masterchef, her dream job and the popular UK soap.

One Man, Two Guvnors has taken the theatre by storm. Reintroduced at The National in 2011 with Gavin and Stacey star, James Corden, it has been a huge success.

It is now touring the country and is coming to Aylesbury next week with Gavin Spokes as Francis Henshall; Shaun Williamson as Charlie ‘The Duck’ Clench; Jasmyn Banks as Pauline Clench and Emma Barton as Dolly.

The slapstick show is fast moving and sees Francis being fired from his skiffle band, and becoming minder to Roscoe Crabbe.

But Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her own dead brother, who has been killed by her boyfriend, Stanley Stubbers. Seeing an opportunity Francis also takes a job with Stanley, resulting in having two guvnors which he must keep apart.

Emma said: "It is just brilliant. It really is. I couldn’t wish to be in a better production."

She said it feels like her dream job and is enjoying performing in the upbeat show.

She added: "It is just such an instant reward, having the laughter. It is like an adult pantomime.

"The audience are so involved. It is just a lovely way to spend a night."

Emma first saw the show when one of her best friends and former EastEnders star, Kellie Shirley was in it.

She said: "I remember coming out of the theatre thinking I would really like to go back and see it again tomorrow.

"I was so caught up in it- it really is my sense of humour."

She put a lot of pressure on herself during the auditions and was over the moon to land the part of Dolly.

She is, as the name suggests, a real dolly bird, but she is also strong and feisty, which Emma said is a refreshing role for her.

There is a very strong cast for the show, including former EastEnders stars, Shaun Williamson, who played Barry Evans and Jasmyn Banks who played Alice Branning.

Emma said: "Gavin is just an absolutely fantastic actor. None of us can say we are tired in front of him.

"He really works that stage. He is a brilliant Francis.

"Shaun is such a gentleman. He is very funny and knows what he is doing.

"Jasmyn is brilliant in the part of Pauline.

"One Man, Two Guvnors becomes three Eastenders."

They had never worked together as they were on the show at different times.

Emma played Honey Mitchell for three years from 2005 to 2008, and returned again this year on a temporary basis.

She said: "I was really nervous. I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to step into her shoes as easily as I did.

"I left six years ago, yet when I was there it felt just a few months ago. Everyone made me feel welcome."

Emma, who is 36 and lives in Surrey, said it was a strange feeling to be in a show which she watched growing up, but said it was a great stepping stone.

Since then she has been treading the boards in a number of different roles, including playing Roxie Hart in Chicago; Lily in Annie and Vera in Doctor in The House.

On TV she has starred in You, Me and Them and Doctors and last year was in a film called Who Needs Enemies.

And this year she also starred in Celebrity Masterchef, which was won by Sophie Thompson. Emma didn’t get past the first stage.

She said: "We filmed that in March. I had a crazy few months.

"It is all or nothing. I really enjoyed it.

"It is the scariest thing I have experienced. At the same time I really loved it.

"I would really like to go on a cookery course if I had the time. It is a craft."

And Emma said competitive live shows just aren’t for her.

She said: "You have got about four cameras in your face. You just do such ridiculous things and make such foolish mistakes.

"It is not your kitchen. The work space is quite tiny. In some ways I would have liked to see what else I could learn.

"At the same time, there was no way I was good enough. In ten years time I should do another and see if I have improved."

One Man, Two Guvnors is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from August 11 to 16 at 7.30pm with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are £11.90 to £37.90, with a £2.85 booking fee from 0844 8717627 or go to www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury. It is also on at The Wycombe Swan from December 1 to 6 at 7.30pm with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are £19 to £30.50, with a £1.50 booking fee from 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.

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