Pop up play about iconic Highgate figure Angela Burdett-Coutts casts audience as actors

The cast of the play in tribute to philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The cast of the play in tribute to philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A pop up play paying tribute to a legendary Highgate figure was “good fun” and “brought people together” last Thursday.

The one-night-only performance, which starred around 20 audience members as some of the actors, commemorated 19th century philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts.

Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria were some of the famous names incorporated into the show, held in the library annex at Highgate Library, in Chester Road by the Friends of Highgate Library (FOHL).

The play, Angela Burdett-Coutts: Empress of Holly Lodge, detailed the life and times of baroness Burdett-Coutts. She was the owner of the Holly Lodge estate, which stretches from Holly Lodge Gardens and Highgate West Hill down to Swain’s Lane.

Treasurer of FOHL society, Linda Lefavre, who lives in Dartmouth Park Road, said: “It was really good fun and it really brougt people together. The story ends with Angela Burdett-Coutts dying and we all sang a community song at the end.

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“The audience members all performed well. One little boy about eight or nine years old had a small part as Napoleon and said his lines with real gusto and a French accent.”

About 65 people turned up to watch the play, with 20 members joining in the fun on stage. The performance was part of a series of events held by the FOHL about the local area.

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