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A Kings Heath actress famous for her housewife character Mrs Barbara Nice has received a medal in the 2017 New Year Honours list.
Janice Connolly receives a British Empire Medal for her services to community arts in the West Midlands in her role as artistic director of the group Women and Theatre.
The company performs in schools, health centres, residential care homes and other community venues addressing issues of social change, health and the everyday experiences of ordinary people.
Janice was a founder member of the company, after taking part in a course of drama workshops funded by the Workers Educational Association entitled Women & Theatre. A year later, in 1984, four of the group decided to continue the work on a full-time basis.
Women and Theatre have the knack of conveying an urgent social message…You’d think all this would be terribly grim, but these characters don’t invite pity and there’s a good deal of hilarity.
The Kings Heath tv star has been its artistic director for the past 20 years. She has written, directed and performed in many projects for the company. Janice is a trained teacher and has worked both in mainstream education and as an education project worker for Barnardos.
She is also a successful performer in her own right and has featured in series such as Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights (Channel 4), Dead Man Weds (ITV) and Thin Ice (BBC2) as well as appearing twice in Coronation Street. Her recent theatre roles include White Open Spaces (Pentabus), A Taste of Honey (New Vic Theatre, Stoke) and Tartuffe (The Rep, Birmingham).
Her alter-ego, Mrs Barbara Nice is a well loved comedy circuit headliner as well as a Birmingham icon performing regularly in local pubs and clubs.
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