AN actor who grew up in Walton is preparing to step on stage for the first time since returning to Warrington.

Kiki Kendrick’s work has taken her all over the UK and the world but her life suddenly changed when her mum Kathleen suffered a life-threatening haemorrhagic stroke towards the end of last year.

The former Stockton Heath Junior and Broomfields student, who has had small parts in the likes of The Office, Cold Feet and Holby City, has been taking care of her since and has only recently been able to accept a role in a performance.

She will be playing Carol in Anne Wynne’s A Touch of Magic at the Kings Arms Theatre in Salford from Tuesday to Thursday and Met Theatre in Bury on Thursday, July 11, as part of Greater Manchester Fringe.

It is a comedy about a couple’s romantic getaway that does not exactly go to plan.


Kiki said: “I have wanted to move back to Warrington for many years now, but it’s hard when you’re married to a milkman in Soho. Then last December my mum had a stroke and I’ve been looking after her for seven months, so I’m back by default. I feel I have come full circle.

“A Touch of Magic is the first job I’ve been able to take in that time.

“I look forward to rehearsals every day. My life has changed since mum’s stroke. I cannot really go for a drink after rehearsals or socialise as I have to get back to get her tea and put her to bed, but doing this play has given me a bit of solace.”

Kiki always knew she wanted to be a performer and even when she was a youngster she would put on her own plays at school or in her front garden in Walton.


After graduating from Liverpool Art School and a stint as a creative in advertising she then travelled to pursue an acting career.

Kiki added: “I won best actress at the South California Film Festival for my role as Sarah in Frontman, best actor, writer and creative for my one woman show, Next, had a Fringe Festival first for my show Babooshka that shined a light on female stereotyping at the Edinburgh Festival, and was in the West End for most of last year in the award-wining show, The Jungle.”


For A Touch of Magic, Kiki is working alongside actors Kivan Dene and Guy Hepworth.

It is written by Anne Wynne who was shortlisted for the best comedy award for her debut play A Fine Life at the Greater Manchester Fringe Awards and was named Northern Writer of the Year at the Northern Soul Awards 2018.

Kiki, who has also had parts in Waterloo Road, Fat Friends and Doctors, said: “Anne is lovely and unassuming and such a great writer. Her script is a joy to work with. She brings a youthful exuberance to theatre, she’s got a playfulness – a nod to past theatre styles.

“The play is a three-hander, so we are all more or less in every scene.

“Everyone is so talented and brings something different to the party.

“Funnily enough when I read the script, Kivan Dene and Guy Hepworth are exactly how I imagined the characters Owen and Ron to be – it is superb casting.

“It’s very funny. I think it’s the combination of Anne Wynne’s writing, Leni Murphy’s direction and a very good cast – it just works.

“Everyone has made contributions, it’s nice to be so hands on, no-one is precious. I love this kind of real world drama.

“It takes me back to Hull Truck Theatre and the way they ground their plays in reality with a touch of romance as well as magic.”


It was while working at Hull Truck Theatre that Kiki learnt that butterflies are no obstacle to a good performance – quite the opposite in fact.

She added: “The nervous energy is what brings a performance alive and makes you bristle. I did a nine-month tour with Hull Truck and was nervous every night, except one. My performance that night lacked something, I felt I wasn’t on it. Channelled nerves are what gets you through the show.”

Kiki also hopes A Touch of Magic has a life beyond Greater Manchester Fringe too.

She said: “I would love to bring it to Warrington. It would also make a great radio play too.

“It would be lovely to put the play on the patio for my mum, take her back to my childhood – life’s like that isn’t it? Going full circle...”