Claire’s journey from Orton to Jamestown

Marshall Redwick, Governor Yeardley and Temperance look into the distance
Marshall Redwick, Governor Yeardley and Temperance look into the distance
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A Peterborough actress is shining a new light on one of the most infamous stories in history as part of a smash hit TV series.

Former Orton Longueville Junior School pupil Claire Cox is staring as Temperance Yeardley in the Sky 1 series ‘Jamestown.’

The series looks at the lives of English settlers in the Virginian town of Jamestown in the early 1600s, with Claire’s character being the wife of governor Sir George Yeardley.

The show is now in its second series , and Claire said it was dealing with complex issues.

She said: “One of the storylines in this series is around the first time Angolan slaves arrived in Virginia.

“My character is shown speaking to people in the plantation who she ‘owns.’

“It is a difficult storyline. The director said we can’t ‘play the end’ of the story with how slavery ends up. Some of the Angolans get freed, which is different to how the slave trade ended up.

“There is also a complicated political situation with the tension between the English settlers and the native Americans.”

Claire said she had not known much about the time period the show covers when she auditioned for the part two years ago.

She said: “I didn’t know much about it, but I was able to do some research into it.

“The set the producers built, and the detail that has been gone into is incredible.”

While filming Claire had to be away from home for four months per series over the summer.

She said: “The set has been built in Budapest in Hungary, and every character has their own house there, with everything as it should be - it has everything - a graveyard, church, water.

“We are there for four months, and I have a young son, and my husband is also an actor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) who has been filming for a future Marvel film, so it was tough to be away for so long.

“The cast and crew all get on very well though - we have our own WhatsApp group and are all really good friends.”

Since leaving Orton Longueville, Claire has been part of the Royal Shakespeare Company for three seasons , as well as appearing in a host of productions on stage and screen.

But her passion for acting was started at a young age.

She said children should get involved young: “I was in all the pantos at the Key Theatre when I was young. I was good at singing and dancing, and ended up going to stage school. My nan was in the theatre industry as well.

“I don’t think you need to go to stage school if you want to make it into the industry - it is all about finding something you enjoy doing and are passionate about.”

The next episode Of Jamestown will be broadcast on Sky 1 at 9pm tomorrow (Friday, February 23).