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Actress Patricia Routledge's 'secret' life as a star of musical theatre

By: stagedoorscribbler - November 13, 2017

Patricia Routledge and edward Seckerson. Photograph by Hattie Miles

The fact that Dame Patricia Routledge, known to millions as super-snob Hyacinth Bucket in the hit BBC sit-com Keeping Up Appearances, is also a fine dramatic actress with an illustrious theatrical cv, is a widely shared fact.

 Her serious Tv roles have also long been admired but mention musical theatre and you may well draw blank looks. Which is astonishing because for years she was a big name in the West End and on Broadway gathering awards and critical acclaim.

Want to discover more? Facing the Music: A Life in Musical Theatre, a wonderfully illuminating and entertaining discussion between Patricia and the writer, critic and broadcaster Edward Seckerson, is at The Buxton Opera House on Friday (17th November) 

It reveals how 89-year-old Patricia  trained not only as an actress but also as a singer and not so long ago she enjoyed huge success in musical theatre on both sides of the Atlantic, winning a Tony for her Broadway performance in Darling of the Day and a Laurence Olivier Award for her West End role in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.

In this fascinating encounter with Seckerson - a world authority on musical theatre - she discusses her life on the musical stage. It sheds light on what Seckerson describes as “one of the best  kept secrets in showbusiness” and is illustrated with rare recordings. 

Facing the Music: A Life in Musical Theatre with Patricia Routledge and Edward Seckerson is at Buxton Opera House on Friday 17th November. For more information go to