Maureen Lipman to visit Sidmouth as guest speaker at fundraiser for literary festival

Maureen Lipman is cooming to Sidmouth.

Maureen Lipman is cooming to Sidmouth. - Credit: Archant

THE indefatigable Maureen Lipman has, inbetween her many acting roles, found the time to write 10 autobiographical books, including It’s a Jungle out There, published last year.

On March 27, she will visit Sidmouth as guest speaker at a charity fundraising lunch at Sidholme Hotel, Elysian Fields, organised by Sun, Sea and Books, Sidmouth Literary Festival.

It is the festival’s first fundraising lunch of the year and, while some proceeds will go towards staging the festival from June 23-25, a portion will be given to the local Macmillan group to aid its work helping cancer patients.

Tickets for the lunch are now on sale at Winstone’s book store, High Street – the festival’s official bookseller – and Sidmouth Library.

The cost of £25 includes a welcome glass of Bucks Fizz at 12 noon, two-course lunch and Maureen’s talk in the famous Music Room.

Maureen was born in Hull, trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and learned her trade in Laurence Olivier’s Company at the Old Vic from 1971-73.

She is well known for her role as Joyce Grenfell in the biographical show Re: Joyce!, and on TV as Beattie in a series of award-winning commercials for British Telecom.

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Her 19 West End productions include Wonderful Town, See How They Run (receiving the Olivier Award), Oklahoma (Oliver nominee) and as Florence Foster Jenkins in Glorious, together with her one-woman show, Alive and Kidding, at the Duchess Theatre.

In 2012, Maureen directed and appeared in a successful tour of Neil Simon’s Barefoot In the Park and the following year was in Old Money by Sarah Woolley. In 2015, she played Vita in Harvey at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and last year starred in a highly-praised production of My Mother Said I Never Should at St James Theatre.

Her TV appearances include Doctor Who, as landlady of The Rover’s Return in Coronation Street, Smiley’s People, Holby City and Midsomer Murders.

Maureen’s own TV shows include Agony, Ladies Of Letters, Bull and the awarding-winning plays, The Evacuees, The Knowledge and Eskimo Days by her late husband, Jack Rosenthal. They were married for 31 years and both were made CBE’s in the 1990s.

For 14 years she wrote a monthly column for Good Housekeeping and a weekly one in The Guardian. She writes regularly for Standpoint and Spectator Health magazines and recently appeared, with Jeremy Robson, at recitals of poetry, jazz and in her own monologues at several literary festivals.

Both her children, Amy and Adam are writers.