EVENING STANDARD – Ageing is proving no problem for actress Ellie Bamber — because she is yet to play a character as old as she is.

The fresh-faced teenager is enjoying playing a string of roles on screen and stage for which she has been cast as younger than her real age of 18.

This week she will start previews playing 14-year-old Dinah in the musical High Society at the Old Vic and she can also be seen as a schoolgirl in Carol Morley’s new movie The Falling. Next year she will star as Lydia Bennet, 16, in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.

“It’s great. I do have quite a baby face,” she said. “I would love to tackle an older role and have a little bit more depth but I do get to have fun with the roles and I’m quite happy playing young. I quite enjoy being the baby of the cast. It’s fun.”

Bamber grew up in Wokingham, Berkshire, and started acting aged 12. She performed with the London Players’ Theatre, a club dedicated to music hall entertainment, after being spotted in a school play.

Although her breakthrough came in Sir Trevor Nunn’s production of Aspects Of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory five years ago, she said appearing in High Society after a few years away from the stage was “quite challenging”. “It’s learning on the job. But my diction is getting better and I’m singing as well,” she added.

In The Falling she plays “Dreamy Girl” alongside Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams. “Unfortunately my spoken lines were cut out. It happens, but it did hurt a bit,” she said.

But she has a much larger role in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic set in a world overtaken by zombies and starring Lily James, Matt Smith, Sam Riley, Lena Headey and Charles Dance.

She said: “I had such a brilliant time on set with them. It’s very clever but also for a contemporary audience it’s going to be such fun. I think it will attract a younger audience to the book.”

On her role as Lydia, heroine Elizabeth’s reckless sister, she said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be playing such an iconic character.”


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