Sitcom star Patricia Routledge comes to Barking to reveal her musical theatre past

BDP wk40 Ents - Seckerson and Routledge

BDP wk40 Ents - Seckerson and Routledge - Credit: submitted

“It’s bouquet, not bucket!” was a catchphrase heard in living rooms across England for much of the early nineties.

Hoity toity Hyacinth Bucket, played by Patricia Routledge, was the middle-aged, working-class woman with mid-to-upper class pretensions in BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

While her neighbours carried on contentedly with their lives, Mrs Bucket desperately climbed the social ladder, or attempted to at least, while long-suffering husband Richard dutifully shrugged his shoulders and followed her ridiculous schemes.

Routledge’s class act as Hyacinth made her renowned for comedy, but the actress, now 84, made her name in a different limelight – musical theatre.

On October 13 she is visiting the Broadway Theatre, Barking, to reveal all about her life treading the boards.

Joining her is writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson, a self-confessed musical theatre addict who has interviewed everyone from Liza Minelli to Pavarotti.

He said: “The full extent of Patricia’s musical theatre career is one of the best kept secrets in showbusiness.

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“Both in the UK and on Broadway she appeared in what have become collectors’ items for musical lovers.”

After graduating from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Routledge went straight to theatre, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on the West End in productions such as Noises Off and The Importance of Being Earnest.

She made her Broadway debut in the 1968 show Darling of the Day, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, and appeared in countless other musical productions.

Edward will be leading a fascinating conversation with Patricia about her career, featuring recorded snippets.

“Patricia has a seriously good, classically trained voice and with access to a number of treasured recording we have devised this conversation piece which traces her journey through the music theatre side of an extraordinary and all-embracing career,” he said.

“She has wonderful stories to tell from childhood to Broadway stardom and one very significant flop.”

To book tickets to see Patricia Routledge – Facing the Music, call the Broadway Theatre box office on 020 8507 5607 or visit Tickets £10 (concessions £8).