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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 12:25 GMT
Soap star Palmer prepares stage debut
Patsy Palmer
Patsy Palmer has been busy with work and family
Patsy Palmer - best known for playing Bianca in BBC soap EastEnders - will make her debut on London's West End stage in a comedy about the ups and downs of motherhood.

Mother-of-three Palmer, 30, will appear in Mum's The Word at the Albery Theatre from the middle of March.

Her character will be a worn-out young parent in a play said to go into truthful detail about what looking after a young baby can involve.

Palmer left EastEnders in 1999 after six years at the soap to spend more time with her family and to concentrate on other projects.

The actress' children are Emilia, aged one-and-a-half. Her son Fenton is 13 months younger. Palmer also has an 11-year-old son, Charley.

Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen
Palmer found fame as the wife of Ricky in EastEnders

There will be a six-strong female cast in Mum's The Word. Palmer's co-stars will include comedienne Jenny Eclair.

Cathy Tyson, a star of the ITV drama series Band of Gold, Carol Decker, singer with Eighties band T'Pau, and Imogen Stubbs will also feature.

Barbara Pollard, who co-wrote the play with five other real-life mothers in Canada, will also perform.

Piercing cry

The play aims to paint a humorous but honest picture of how difficult motherhood can be.

In the story, previously glamorous career women turn into "exhausted, bedraggled amateurs" when they have a child.

It was written by six Canadian women who had 10 children aged under six between them and decided to turn their experiences into a stage show.

The play has already toured the UK after success in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Palmer found fame as the loud-mouthed wife of Ricky Butcher in EastEnders.

Her hot-headed character was known for her piercing cry of "Ricky" when she was unhappy with her other half.

Bianca and Ricky, played by Sid Owen, were also known for their unstable relationship, both having affairs.

Both actors went on to pursue other projects but Owen has since returned to the series.

Palmer has starred in animal series Battersea Dogs Home and detective drama McCready and Daughter as well as being a guest host on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast and ITV children's show SM:tv.

See also:

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