CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

EastEnders star Steve McFadden cuts cake as Highgate theatre celebrates birthday

26 January, 2016

EASTENDERS star Steve McFadden cut the cake as a fringe theatre venue celebrated its 18th birthday.

The actor, who plays Phil Mitchell in the BBC1 soap, watched the matinee of Legally Blonde: the musical, currently showing at the Upstairs At The Gatehouse on Sunday.

After the show, he helped toast the theatre’s anniversary alongside the Plews family, who converted the space above the Gatehouse pub into a theatre nearly 20 years ago.

It is now known as one of London’s leading fringe venues.

Mr McFadden, who lives nearby, said he had been blown away by the cast’s talent, telling them with a smile: “I can’t sing, I can’t dance – I can act a little, but I can’t do what you do. The talent on show here is just amazing.”

The cast of Legally Blonde: The Musical meet 'Phil Mitchell'

The Eastenders stars helps blow out the candles as Upstairs At The Gatehouse turns 18

He congratulated the theatre for the quality of the shows it stages, as the audience stayed behind to hear him speak.

John Plews, the theatre’s co-manager, said: “We have to thank the audiences who keep coming back and supporting us, and helping us to do what we do here, and being part of life in Highgate.”

On each birthday, the theatre hands out Highgate Upstairs At The Gatehouse (HUGOs) awards to people who have helped it over the years. This year, Jason Crowley, the manager of the bar downstairs, was handed the glass trophy. He is moving pubs after nine years following the sale of the bar by the JD Wetherspoon chain.

Jason Crowley collects his 'Hugo' award from Steve McFadden

Legally Blonde runs until January 31, with an extra matinee now scheduled for January 30.

 

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