Kacey Ainsworth became a household name when she joined the cast of Albert Square as Little Mo in 2000, winning Most Popular Actress in the 2002 National Television Awards.
This month the award-winning actress is treading the boards at Nottingham Playhouse, taking the role of the tyrannical Warden in Nottingham Playhouse’s production of Louis Sachar’s Holes, playing until 22 April.
She tells Stage Review what drew her to the role and what it was like to play one of the most memorable characters in EastEnders…
What is Holes about?
Holes is about a boy called Stanley who gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correction centre in Texas. It’s the complex but extremely entertaining story of Stanley’s adventures – like all good shows it has a very strong story which has twists and turns and surprises… it will not end how you think.
What drew you to the role of the Warden?
She doesn’t cry once and I get to be rather sassy. I also play a Latvian fortune teller so both parts are a good challenge for me in terms of accent and tone. I was also influenced by the fact that my daughter read the book in Year Seven and loved it so much, plus I’d met Adam Penford before and wanted to work with him too.
Have you been to Nottingham before?
I came to Nottingham to do Calendar Girls and was shown around by my touring stalwarts in the company. We’ve also got some Notts actors in Holes so I’ve got more tour guides, which is fun. I came to the Playhouse recently to watch Wonderland, which was fabulous, and I absolutely love the space and how the stage is hugged by the audience, it’s gorgeous.
You’re very well-known for your role as Little Mo. What was it like to play a character with such a turbulent life?
The schedule on the soap can be crushing but I loved her and people still call me Mo in the street. It’s lovely to have created a character who people not only identified with but also took to their hearts.
Do you miss EastEnders?
I miss doing it every day and working on something where you know everyone from the crew to the tea lady.
What’s next for you?
A series for ITV that I’ve been embargoed from telling you the name of… sorry!