Claire Nielson

Claire is an actor, writer and director who is well know for her many television appearances with The Two Ronnies and for creating the part of Mrs Hamilton in the famous ‘Waldorf Salad’ episode of Fawlty Towers. She also played Edith Rankin opposite Richard Briers in Monarch of the Glen and Amy McSwan in A is for Acid with Martin Clunes. Other TV appearances include leading roles in Taggart, Doctors, Holby City, The Jury, London’s Burning, Upstairs Downstairs, Just William, Angels, Z Cars, Crown Court, Dixon of Dock Green, Dr Finlay’s Casebook, The Dick Emery Show, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?; and the BAFTA-nominated BBC series The Crow Road. In the cinema, she appeared in the film version of Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen and played Barbara Grant in Kidnapped opposite Michael Caine and Trevor Howard.

Claire’s London appearances include: Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe); Brian Rix’s Don’t Just Lie There, Say Something! (Garrick Theatre); Threads (Hampstead); Desdemona in Othello and Lydia Languish in The Rivals opposite Fay Compton (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith); and Maggie in Sparrers Can’t Sing (Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop). In repertory, Claire’s credits include seasons at: Bolton; Hornchurch; Canterbury; Perth; Glasgow Citizens; Birmingham Rep; Theatre Royal, Stratford East; Theatre Royal, Plymouth; and Theatre Royal, Windsor as Ruth in Ayckbourn’s trilogy The Norman Conquests. At international festivals she played leading roles with Theatre Workshop at the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt in Paris and the Maxim Gorki Theatre in East Berlin.

For BBC Radio, her credits include: Ripples; Mademoiselle Pearl; Dr Finlay: Adventures of a Black Bag; The Light of Heart; Wives and Daughters; and Lucy Bailey’s award-winning Radio 3 production of The Leopard. She has directed plays in London at the Riverside Studios and the Gate Theatre, and in Stratford-upon-Avon at the Other Place and the Swan Theatre for the RSC Fringe Festival. Also for the RSC she has devised and led many workshops including a prestigious series in Italy for Ferrara University.

Claire read English at King’s College, Cambridge. As a writer, her books include: Your First Grandchild (Harper Collins); The Spirit of Beardsley (Gramercy Books); Buddhism for Bears (St Martin’s Press); and The Tao of Babies (Random House). Her latest novel, The House at Strone, was published in 2022 and she is currently working on the sequel.

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