BEST known as Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous, Harriet Thorpe is making a foray into the west country as another strong woman, the Wicked Queen, in Snow White.

The Theatre Royal in Bath is the setting for the traditional pantomime based on Grimms fairytales, and Harriot says the cast are already having a laugh together. They met first when they were trying on costumes and then again at the panto launch before beginning rehearsals.

Harriet is no stranger to playing the weird and the wonderful characters both in musical theatre, Shakespeare and television.

“I never play normal,” she said. “It is always the wicked witch or queen in panto, the crazy servant in drama, or Shakespeare’s Titania, Elizabeth in Richard 111 and the wicked queen in Cymbeline. I should be in a home!”

She also took on the larger than life and equally horrible Mistress Morrible in the musical Wicked in the West End.

She took part in a celebrity edition of TV’s The Weakest Link as the incorrigible Mistress Morrible.

Harriet recalls performing in TV’s Ab Fab with pleasure and she took part in the Absolutely Fabulous movie, out last year.

“It was the most joyous experience on that series,” she said.

“Everyone had a laugh, everyone got on. It was an iconic game changer for women and poked fun at our society.”

The actress has been friends with fellow Ab Fab veteran and writer of the series, Jennifer Saunders, and the two of them had fun appearing together on Loose Women.

“I saw her last week and will be seeing her later on today,” said Harriet. “We went on Loose Women to promote Walk The Walk. I am the ambassador of the Moonwalk. I started with Victoria Wood and just kept going and then Jen did it, but not for the past two years as she has a bone spur, but we have a big team behind us. I did the full marathon itself walking through London at night, 15,000 women all together, just being and walking, but we did need to do training beforehand.”

Harriet was brought up partly in the UK, training at the Royal Ballet School and partly in Los Angeles as her father was an actor and her mother a writer.

“My father, (Edward Thorpe) who is 90-years-old, came over to London in the Blitz and took part in Where The Rainbow Ends. It was his first performance. My mother is Gillian Freeman who wrote the Leather Boys in 1961, that was made into a film starring Rita Tushingham. It was the Brokeback Mountain of its day about working class boys who fall in love.”

Her sister Matilda is also an actress and Harriet says that when they perform in the same play they have a certain short hand between them. “It’s always fantastic fun, no sibling rivalry that’s just a waste of time,” she said.

Teaming up with Helen Lederer, another veteran actress from Absolutely Fabulous, Harriet took to the floor in Let’s Dance for Comic Relief.

“We pulled on our platform boots and performed Dancing Queen by Abba, very appropriate, and as I had been in Mamma Mia the platforms were natural for me.”

Harriet has also turned her hand to drama, she was Carole in the sitcom, The Brittas Empire, and had roles in TV dramas such as Hollyoaks, The Musketeers, Doctors and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries to The Bill, Goodnight Sweetheart and Midsomer Murders but this is her first pantomime.

‘I feel so fortunate to be able to switch genres from the National Theatre to musicals to a sitcom to a movie and now pantomime!’ The curtain rises on Snow White on December 7 and runs until January 7 at the Theatre Royal in Bath. To book call 01225 448844 or visit