Amanda Drew

Last updated

Amanda Drew
Born (1969-12-12) 12 December 1969 (age 53)
Boston, Lincolnshire, England
Alma mater
Years active1992–present

Amanda Drew (born 12 December 1969) [1] is an English actress with extensive credits in theatre, television and film.



One of four children, Drew was born in Boston, Lincolnshire. [1] [2] Drew's mother was a nurse [3] and her father was a vicar.[ citation needed ] When her parents moved to Leicestershire for work, Drew was educated at Beauchamp College in Oadby [4] [ failed verification ] where she joined a youth theatre, playing Charity in Sweet Charity . She later attended King's School, Ottery St. Mary, when her family moved to Devon.[ citation needed ]

After graduating from RADA in 1992, Drew made her name on stage at the Royal Court Theatre and various other West End productions in both drama and comedy roles. In 2001, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has appeared on This Morning twice and BBC Breakfast News once both for interviews, and also has attended a podcast interview for The Ugly One at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008.

In March 2009 she starred in the UK premiere of Parlour Song at the Almeida Theatre. In July 2009 she took the role of Claudia Roe, a fictional amalgamation of female executives of the failed Enron Corporation, in ENRON at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, transferring to Royal Court Theatre in October 2009 and the West End in January 2010.


Drew played the part of Dr. May Wright in the BBC One soap opera, EastEnders , between September 2006 and June 2007, and again in June 2008. [5] Drew was involved in one of largest storylines of the year, a love triangle between May, her husband Rob Minter (Stuart Laing), and Dawn Swann (Kara Tointon).

The personality of the character has earned her the nickname "Mad May" and "Psycho Doctor" from the media. [6] Drew has described the role as "a gift of a role for any actor because of her complexity." [7] Of her return to EastEnders, she has stated: "I'm so excited to be playing her again. It'd be a shame to give too much away, but she has changed in many ways." [7] Executive producer Diederick Santer has said: "It's great to have Amanda back. May is a hugely popular character. I'm sure viewers will be keen to see what she gets up to and how she's changed." [7]

In May 2007, it was decided that the ending of a current storyline featuring characters of May, Dawn and Rob would be substantially rewritten due to the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann. The storyline would have seen May ran off with Dawn and Rob's baby shortly after it had been born. [8] The move attracted some criticism as to how it relates directly to the disappearance of the toddler; the BBC said that "In the current circumstances it was felt any storyline that included a child abduction would be inappropriate and could cause distress to our viewers." [8] May holds Dawn hostage, intending to steal her baby by performing a caesarean section. May is arrested and Drew left the series.

Trailers for Drew's return to EastEnders, had been shown in the weeks running up to her return on BBC channels; on 6 June 2008. She reprised her role as May, under the assumed name of "Jenny". She was seen smoking a cigarette and drinking alcohol, two new activities for the character. May was killed-off on 18 June 2008 when she causes a gas explosion at the Miller house. [9] [10]


Drew won the "Outstanding Newcomer" at the 2003 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards for her performance in Eastward Ho! at the Gielgud Theatre.



1992 Between the Lines Angela
1993 Full Stretch Natasha
Performance Daisy
Paul Calf's Video DiaryEmma
1994 Soldier Soldier Siobhan Mitchell
1995Degrees of LoveCordell Hospital Nurse
1994, 2003 The Bill Various roles
1998 Men Behaving Badly Wendy
2002 Tough Love Jilly Barnes
Spooks Reporter
2003 M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team Ruth Taylor
2004 No Angels Dr. Jane Salter
2005 The Golden Hour Peta Larkinson
2006–2008 EastEnders Dr. May Wright Regular role; 93 episodes
2008 HolbyBlue Judy Burrows
2010 Midsomer Murders Liz Gerrard
2012 Switch Janet
Paddy and Sally's Excellent Gypsy AdventureNarrator
2013–2015 Broadchurch Cate Gillespie
2013 Silent Witness DI Reed
Life of CrimeBeverley Reid
New Tricks Laura Highsmith
SouthcliffeJacqui Whitehead
2014 Horizon Narrator
The Passing Bells Annie Edwards
2017 The Last Post Mary Markham
2018 Trust Belinda
2019 Father Brown Miss Cynthia Rosewood
Black Mirror Hayley
Chernobyl Kremlin Aide
2019–2020 The Trial of Christine Keeler Julie Ellen Payne
2020 Gangs of London Ms. Kane
Criminal: UK Solicitor
2021 The Outlaws Ruth
Doctor Who The Mouri (voice) Series 13; "Once, Upon Time"
The Girl Before Carol Younsen (Psychotherapist)
A Very British Scandal Yvonne MacPherson
2022 Vampire Academy Diane
Wednesday Esther SinclairEpisode 5: "You Reap What You Woe"
The Peripheral Mrs West
2023 The Gold CS Cath McLeanSix-part BBC drama [11]


1997 Remember Me? Police officer
1997 Mrs Dalloway Lucy
1999 This Year's Love Old Friend
2004 Between Us Lukas' Mother
2008 The Other Man Joy
2010JerusalemKate BlakeShort film
2012AnonymousHelenShort film
2014CharityMotherShort film
2015Blue BorsalinoDonnaShort film
2018 A Private War Amy Bentham
2021The Hitman and HerMrs. PierceShort film

Video games

2018 Hitman 2 Nancy Burnwood

Selected stage appearances

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  1. 1 2 Paddock, Terri (10 September 2007). "20 Questions with ... Amanda Drew". Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2008. Date & place of birth Born 21 December 1969 in Boston, Lincolnshire.
  2. "The Big Interview: Amanda Drew". Official London Theatre. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  3. "Amanda Drew's doctor dream". 6 June 2008. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  4. Trowbridge, Simon. "A Dictionary of the RSC".[ dead link ]
  5. "Amanda Drew". BBC EastEnders. profile.
  6. "Amanda: I've never felt broody". Metro . 30 May 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2007.
  7. 1 2 3 "May's mad comeback!". Inside Soap . England. 22 April 2008. p. 11.
  8. 1 2 "'EastEnders' axe baby abduction plot". Digital Spy . 22 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  9. "'Mad May' returns to EastEnders". Digital Spy . 14 April 2008.
  10. "May's on her way back". BBC EastEnders. 15 April 2008.
  11. "First Look images and further casting announced for upcoming BBC Drama The Gold". Retrieved 17 January 2023.