Katherine Kelly takes National Theatre by storm

Former Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly has been praised by the critics for her ‘superb’ performance in She Stoops To Conquer at the National Theatre.

The actress, who quit the cobbles of Weatherfield after five years on the ITV1 soap, plays Kate Hardcastle in the 18th century comedy at the venue on London’s Southbank.

Writing in The Times, Libby Purves praised her ‘skilful’ performance and said she gives ‘us Coronation Street fans a blissful memory of her years as wild Becky’.

Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph, said she ‘brings superb assurance to the role’ and described her as ‘brimming with mischief in the barmaid scenes, but suggesting a delightful mixture of sense and sensibility when she plays her true self’.

Michael Billington in The Guardian said she was ‘highly impressive’.

He said: “As the well-born Kate Hardcastle she is obliged, somewhat ironically in view of her role in Corrie, to pose as a barmaid, but even she gets legitimate laughs by her hip-twitching gait and air of sexual mischief.”

Viewers saw Katherine’s character Becky McDonald, a former drug addict and jailbird who turned her life around with the help of Roy and Hayley Cropper, leave the soap earlier this year.

She was named the winner in the best serial drama performance category at the National Television Awards last month.