Samantha Womack reveals love of Norwich and June Brown memories 

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

TV and stage star Samantha Womack, best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, has been getting anything but an icy reception as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

The actress appears as the villain in the touring show, which is at Norwich Theatre Royal until this Saturday (April 9).

Samantha Womack as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Samantha Womack as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. - Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

It is a welcome return to the city for Womack, whose TV credits also include Game On and Mount Pleasant, as she came to the venue in 2019 in The Girl on the Train.

While here this time she is living in a converted Sprinter van with her dog, which she did up during lockdown, and is planning a trip to Holkham with her castmates.

She said: "I really love the vibe of Norwich and the theatre itself has a very warm, positive feeling.

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at Norwich Theatre Royal. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"I always take my dogs up to Holkham beach and I have friends in Stiffkey."

This adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic tale sees Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter step through the wardrobe into the magical world of Narnia and it features a huge lion puppet of Aslan. 

Samantha Womack as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Samantha Womack as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. - Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Speaking about the show, Womack added: "I think people will find it very moving. For some children it is their first introduction to theatre and for others it is a nostalgic look back to childhood."

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Womack is most recognisable for her role as Ronnie Mitchell on EastEnders and she still speaks to Rita Simons, who played on-screen sister Roxy, "four of five times a day". 

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Theatre Royal. 

Samantha Womack who is starring in The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe at the Theatre Royal. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

She was also very close and did a lot of scenes with Dot Cotton actress June Brown, who passed away on Sunday. 

She added: "One of my strongest memories was a scene where Dot had to do a monologue about Ronnie and June felt it was too harsh on the character so she rewrote it.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday. 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday. - Credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

"She filmed it in one take and I was grateful for her protecting the character and also moved by her talent and power as a woman.

"Before I left the show she gave me one of Dot's hankies and said it was for any tears I shed in the future."

Buy tickets at norwichtheatre.org