Spooks / Sherlock / The Split actor Lara Pulver to open the Bedford Park Festival

An important date in the diary before opening with Fiddler on the Roof at Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Award-winning actor Lara Pulver, whose career spans film, TV and theatre, will be opening the Bedford Park Festival at Green Days on Saturday 8 June.

Lara, who won an Olivier award for her portrayal of Louise in the West End production of Gypsy, winning the Best Supporting Actress award to Imelda Staunton’s Mama Rose, is well known to TV audiences from her roles in Spooks, Sherlock and The Split.

She and her family have recently moved to Chiswick from LA.

“I love living in Chiswick” she told The Chiswick Calendar. “As a family we’re quite active. I play tennis at Hartswood tennis club and mums’ netball in Ravenscourt Park. I didn’t imagine it being so out-doorsy.”

Lara and her husband, Spooks actor Raza Jaffrey, moved to Chiswick last year with their two young children and have been discovering all that it has to offer:

“We watched the Boat Race for the first time, we go on family bike rides and we love Ma Ma Boutique Bakery. It has a real community feel.”

Image above: Lara in Spooks; photograph IMDb

Although both actors have appeared in the spy series, and Lara was also in the film Spooks: The Greater Good, they did not meet on the set of Spooks, but in LA, where they had other ex-pat British film industry friends in common.

Before she won the Olivier for Best Supporting Actress in Gypsy, Lara was nominated for an Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Lucille Frank in the Donmar Warehouse production of Parade, which then transferred to LA.

Why move from LA back to London?

“Nothing really shoots there except for half hour studio comedies. Our eldest child is now school age and we wanted to be somewhere we could all be together, and we would both have the opportunity to work. I was desperate to get back on stage, which meant either New York or London, and of course we have the pull of friends and family here” Lara told me.

Image: Lara with Imelda Staunton in Gypsy; photograph IMDb

She has recently led the critically acclaimed ITV medical drama Maternal, which she filmed in Liverpool, and starred in Abi Morgan’s hit BBC TV show The Split, alongside Stephen Mangan and Nicola Walker.

She was in Greece when we talked, where Raza is filming Malice a psychological thriller with David Duchovny, Jack Whitehall and Carice van Houten, for Amazon Prime. She herself has just finished an ITV drama she is not allowed to tell us about yet, but which should grace our TV screens next spring.

She is not about to perform at The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in Fiddler on the Roof.

“It’s the same team who were behind Cabaret. They wanted me to play the mother, not the 18 year old daughter – that was a reality check!”

Before she starts that in earnest, she will be appearing at the Bedford Park Festival on Acton Green Common opposite Turnham Green tube station, at 11 am,  to declare Green Days open and to judge the fancy dress competition, which this year will be on the theme of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

READ ALSO: Celebrating 75th anniversary of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at the Bedford Park Festival

Book ticketsFiddler on the Roof

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