She has played everyone from Lady MacBeth to Balamory’s Edie McCredie, now Bafta-Award winning actor Juliet Cadzow has a new role as a GCU Cultural Fellow.
In February, Juliet starred in the 25th-anniversary reading of GCU Professor Ann Marie Di Mambro’s Tally’s Blood, dubbed “the hot ticket in Glasgow” by The Herald and hosted by the University.
Alongside Gavin Mitchell, Stephen Clyde, Amy Conachan, Scott Fletcher and Rehanna Macdonald, she played to a packed house, including school pupils from across the west of Scotland who are studying the play as a curriculum text.
“Bringing Tally’s Blood, which was a huge success, to life for a new generation was immensely enjoyable,” says Juliet. “I was delighted to be invited to be a GCU Cultural Fellow. I first met the Principal and the University Secretary when David, my husband, was given an honorary degree by GCU.
“Sadly, David died in 2014 having had an amazing career, and I was very honoured – and a bit scared, actually – to be asked to continue that association as a Cultural Fellow.
I needn’t have been worried as GCU has been so welcoming. I’m looking forward to doing more. I’d love to work with students on the MA TV Fiction Writing programme to read their work and discuss it from an actor’s point of view. It is good to hear the voice that will perform your work and have a chance to ask an actor where difficulties may appear within the script. I’d like to be an ambassador for GCU in any way I can.”
As a Cultural Fellow, Juliet joins poets Liz Lochhead and Jackie Kay, novelist Anne Donovan, artist Toby Paterson, composer John Browne and fellow actress Blythe Duff, in encouraging creativity on campus and enhancing the University’s cultural life through activities, events and performances.
“Cultural development on campus is so important,” says Juliet. “Without cultural development, people simply don’t get a feel of where they are. In Scotland, we have a wealth of acting and writing that’s very different to other countries. Without culture in your life, particularly for young people, it is a very dead existence.”
Juliet herself travelled to Florence, first as an au pair and then as a student at the city’s university to gain life experience before studying at the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since graduating she has worked extensively in theatre around the world, TV and film.
“I have always wanted to act. I come from a very down-to-earth farming background but my godfather had been an actor, my mother was very artistic and she had a relative who had been a concert singer, so it was in the bloodline. I have had so many wonderful experiences, travelled to so many places and I have been fortunate to have worked on wonderful projects with incredible people in all sorts of things from The Wicker Man with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, to playing Rab C. Nesbitt’s sister in law. I’ve even been Alan Cumming’s mother twice!
“It’s Balamory that I get recognised for most. At one point, I could hardly walk down the road without being recognised – from students to tiny children in trollies in the supermarket. I thought at the time, it’s a kids’ show, no-one will see it.
“Acting has been great fun and my advice to students embarking on their career in any field today would be to cast your own net wide. Never close your eyes and ears to what is happening in the broad spectrum of British and European work and get involved as much as you can – and travel! The world is a very small place now – you can go anywhere and try everything.”