Stalwart fans of CASUALTY will fondly remember actress Mamta Kaash, who played SHO Beth Ramanee between Series 5 and 6. Her character so popular at the time, that she was the first SHO that was kept over a second series. Mamta kindly talks to holby.tv about her time on the show and what she’s been up to since…
Do you have fond memories of your time on CASUALTY?
I am sure every one remembers nice things as if they happened yesterday. CASUALTY was a big window that opened up a huge audience base for my work, and it gave me pleasure as an actor that I was part of a quality programme that millions enjoyed watching. And after all these years, much to my surprise, I still get excitedly stopped in the street with questions about Beth, so it just shows the impact of the programme.
What were your most memorable moments from your time playing Beth?
Each episode was based on true storylines, and while initially reading the script you felt for the people who, in real life, were going through all this suffering, you had to detach yourself, as an actress, and just become the character you were playing. Blood and gore scenes used to be tough for me though as I am a bit squeamish!
Were you pleased at how your character progressed during your time on the show?
My character, Dr. Beth Ramanee, was shown only in her clinical and medicinal mode, which was enjoyable to portray but the whole spectrum of her as a woman or as having a private life, as any doctor would, was never touched upon.
Fans loved the working dynamic between Beth and Julian, what was your take on their relationship? Did you enjoy working with Nigel le Vaillant?
Yes there was sparring between Beth and Julian and he put her down as a junior and as a woman, which she fought, tooth and nail. Perhaps there was almost a sexual tension between them.
Nigel teased me in Hindi, off set, in the Green room, as he had spent his childhood in India. There was a charm and child in him in real life, which was endearing.
CASUALTY never shuns topical and controversial storylines, particularly more so back then, what feedback do you remember getting about the show at the time?
How real the show was. Audiences used to say to me that they’d have withdrawal symptoms if the show went off air. They loved the situations and the acting in it too.
If you were ever asked to make a return to the show, would you consider it? Where do you imagine Beth to be working now?
Yes I would love to work on CASUALTY again, if I was lucky enough to be asked. As to where Beth would be working now, that would be in the capable hands of the writers and Producers.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast you worked with from CASUALTY?
As I have been living abroad for several years and prior to that was working for BBC Scotland for two seasons on ‘River City’, I have not been in contact with any former cast for some time.
Do you ever watch the show now?
I gather the show is broadcast from Wales now so I intend to watch the first few episodes on BBCi player to enjoy the new set up.
CASUALTY recently reached it’s 25th anniversary, why do you think the show has maintained it’s success? Do you feel proud to have been a part of such a successful show?
As I said audiences found the show very real and got hooked on the situations. Also because Derek Thompson has been keeping vigil for all this time. Ofcourse I am proud to be part of this success albeit in a small way.
CASUALTY has recently moved to a new larger studio in Cardiff, after filming in Bristol for over 20 years. Did you enjoy working in Bristol?
Bristol was not too far to get to from London and having a small child then, I found this helpful. As filming was done in a converted warehouse, we did not have the usual actors separate changing rooms so it was a case of having someone guard the door as you changed in the wardrobe department, and scream if you heard a bloke approaching!
Do you ever get recognised now from your CASUALTY role?
Yes, surprisingly I still get recognised !! Audiences seem to have fab memories and are so gracious and kind. Recently a lady said to me in a shop ‘I saw you crossing the road the other day but didn’t want to say any thing —‘ I smiled sheepishly as I had just dashed out for something that day, straight out of bed, looking a perfect mess , so you can imagine how I felt!
What acting projects did you work on after leaving the show?
After CASUALTY I did Theatre work to get a different muscle set rolling. Then I took some time out for my child, followed by guest appearances in a number of TV shows like Between the Lines, Patrica Routledge’s Hetty Wainthropp, Lenny Henry’s Dream Child, Pot Boiler for Channel 4, Baby Father for the Beeb, Dangerfield, Famous Five, Last Rights, Cross Roads, Back Up (you will start getting bored with the CV!!). Also was lucky to do Radio Plays, Theatre Work at Royal Court, Stratford East, Tara Arts.
I was also working for BBC Scotland as a regular character on ‘River City’ for two seasons before going abroad.
What have you been up to most recently?
On my return to the UK, I joined acting work shops to get the rust off, got myself a great new Agent, and did some Corporate videos, a couple of student films. I was lucky enough to be cast in the ‘Usual Auntigees’, at Coventry Belgrade, and did a few Radio plays for the BBC.
What other interests do you have besides acting?
I love life so any wonders it offers in terms of anything; whether it be sport or culture or culinary I am well in there. After all we are not in this planet for ever!!