Rye: Ex-Coronation Street star Mavis makes film aged 94

By Stuart Maisner, BBC News, South East

grey placeholderSleepless in Settle/Judy Flynn Thelma Barlow in Sleepless in SettleSleepless in Settle/Judy Flynn

Thelma Barlow came out of retirement to make the short film Sleepless in Settle

One of the best-known faces from Coronation Street has come out of retirement at the age of 94 to make a short film in East Sussex.

Thelma Barlow, who played iconic character Mavis for 26 years, stars in Sleepless in Settle, which is having its premiere in Rye on Saturday.

It was written and directed by actress Judy Flynn who is based in the town.

Ms Barlow, who is now 95 and lives in Faversham in Kent, said: “It was so lovely filming in Rye.”

She added: “The script was so good and is very gentle and has such a good, positive message.

“It was three action-packed days. It took me right back to my early days of rep theatre.”

Sleepless in Settle is a 20-minute long comedy filmed entirely in Rye and Rye Harbour in September 2023.

Thelma Barlow plays Barbara who is trying to find a wife for her son.

Filming took place in the Old Vicarage in Rye Harbour, a garden centre and a community centre in the town over three days.

grey placeholderSleepless in Settle   Thelma Barlow  and Graham TurnerSleepless in Settle

Thelma Barlow and Graham Turner previously appeared together in Dinnerladies

Actress Judy Flynn, who wrote and directed the film, worked with Thelma Barlow on Dinnerladies in the 90s.

She said: “I’ve always admired her work.

“We met again at her 90th birthday party and I asked if I could write something specifically for her and she agreed.

“Filming with Thelma was a total joy. She had so much energy and was full of ideas.”

After the premiere on Saturday, Ms Flynn is hoping to show the film at festivals around the UK.

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