Longridge born actress delighted with her Disney silver screen part

Joanna Riding, who plays Cinderella's mother in Into the Woods.
Joanna Riding, who plays Cinderella's mother in Into the Woods.

Longridge born West End actress Joanna Riding returns to her home town next week – on the big screen – and says it might be only those who know her best who recognise her in the part of Cinderella’s mother in Disney’s “Into the Woods”.

Joanna, 47, who has spent most of her acting career in theatre, says she is absolutely delighted to be “appearing” at Longridge’s Palace Cinema, where as a child she saw her first film, never dreaming that one day she would appear in one.

While “Into the Woods” has already been showing in America and the UK, there is much excitement mounting as the Palace prepares to screen “Into the Woods” - a musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, adapted from Stephen Sondheim’s Tony award-winning Broadway musical of the same name.

Palace owner Dorothy Williamson says she is thrilled to be showing “Into the Woods” which starts on Friday, February 6 and feels that while many know of Joanna, few are aware she is starring in it alongside the likes of Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Tracey Ullman and Johnny Depp.

Dorothy said: “It isn’t so often you get someone from your home town in a film such is this.”

This is a first venture into the world of film for Joanna and although cinema goers only see her very briefly as she metamorphosizes from a tree as Cinderella sits wishing at her grave, they hear Joanna’s voice and also hear her singing a song which asks Cinderella if she is certain what she wishes for and her poor clothes are then transformed into a beautiful golden gown and slippers.

“It is barely 30 seconds, but it is a beautiful moment, but I get to sing and sing in a Disney movie with all these marvellous people - Hollywood names - and it was a truly wonderful experience,” said Joanna, adding: “I am very, very proud.”