Latest play is laugh a minute for Sophie Thompson

PUBLISHED: 17:27 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:12 07 September 2010

If there were such a thing as acting aristocracy, the chances are Sophie Thompson would be part of it. Acting runs thick in her family s blood. The Crouch End actress s famous sister is Emma Thompson, the two-time Oscar winner. Her father was the late ac

If there were such a thing as acting aristocracy, the chances are Sophie Thompson would be part of it.

Acting runs thick in her family's blood.

The Crouch End actress's famous sister is Emma Thompson, the two-time Oscar winner. Her father was the late actor Eric Thompson, who created TV's The Magic Roundabout.

And her mother is the actress Phyllida Law, who recently starred in the ITV series Kingdom with

Stephen Fry.

But Thompson's own acting CV is just as impressive, sparkling with the likes of Gosford Park, Four Weddings And A Funeral, The Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company productions and, most recently, EastEnders.

Asked about her favourite role, she replies humbly: "I'm just always grateful to be in work. There are lots of times when there is absolutely no work on the horizon - so any role is a good one."

As for whether she prefers TV or theatre, she says: "Neither. There are no differences between the two. Only in one you have to talk very loudly at night and the other you have to talk quietly during the day."

After reconsidering slightly, Thompson explains: "Well actually, at least I get to tuck my children into bed when it's TV. You don't get that in the theatre."

Unfortunately for Thompson, she'll be missing out on this for the foreseeable future as she is appearing in Joanna Murray Smith's comedy, The Female Of The Species, a play loosely based on the feminist writer Germaine Greer.

But there is a plus side for her. "The cast and director Roger Michell are such a joy to work with," she says.

"It's non-stop laughing. I can't keep a straight face when I am looking at Eileen Atkins, who takes the lead role playing my mother.

"Joanna Murray's script is so clever and I'm just really lucky to be involved."

The Female of the Species runs at the Vaudeville Theatre, in the Strand, from July 10 to October 4.

Rene Butler

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