'Make sure Lauderdale House is kept for people in the future to enjoy' says Shakespearean actress
PUBLISHED: 19:13 17 August 2012
When Shakespearean actress Tabitha Becker-Kahn performed her first leading role at historic Lauderdale House it was the turning point of her career.
After graduating from the University of Cambridge with an English Literature degree and attending the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, playing Desdemona in a production of Othello was her first real break as an actress.
Two years later, she is returning to the Grade II listed house in Highgate, this time as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
“It is a dream role,” said the 27-year-old, who lives in Constantine Road, South End Green.
“It will be beautiful to perform in the grounds of Lauderdale House. It is such a peaceful retreat. You wouldn’t think you are in north London.”
The production is part of the Theatre On The Tea Lawn season this August, performed outside in picturesque Waterlow Park.
“The play is really accessible,” said Miss Becker-Kahn.
“We make the audience feel really engaged and there is something beautiful about performing under the night’s sky. I can’t believe this is my job.”
Lauderdale House has always provided the perfect backdrop for theatre.
Nell Gwynn, King Charles II’s mistress, was known to have performed at the house and lived there for a short time with their son.
“For me, as an actress, this is of huge significance,” said Miss Becker-Kahn.
“She was one of the trailblazers of the stage. I feel like she is looking down on me when I perform at Lauderdale.”
Lauderdale House now faces the challenge of raising £500,000 by October to secure its future.
“The house has such a rich history,” said the actress. “If you haven’t been, you should go and see what exactly is at stake. We need to make sure it is kept for people in the future to enjoy.”
Much Ado About Nothing will be performed between August 22 and August 26.
The August 23 show will raise money for Lauderdale Transformed, the project to refurbish the historic house.
Wind in the Willows will also be performed – on August 26 and August 27.
To book tickets and to find out more visit www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk or call the box office on 08444 771 000.
Donations to the Lauderdale Transformed campaign can be made in person, by cheque, bank transfer or by buying “notional tickets” to Lauderdale Transformed: The Big Build, by visiting www.lauderdalehouse.co.uk