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Return of Bond girl Gemma

PUBLISHED: 11:52 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:35 23 August 2010

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10:  Actress Gemma Arterton arrives at the  5th annual British Academy of Film and Televisions Arts/LA Awards Season Tea Party held on January 10, 2009 at the Beverly Hills Hotel  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actress Gemma Arterton arrives at the 5th annual British Academy of Film and Televisions Arts/LA Awards Season Tea Party held on January 10, 2009 at the Beverly Hills Hotel (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

2009 Getty Images

A TOP Hollywood star has returned to the town to support her former theatre group. Gravesend-born Bond girl Gemma Arterton was among the audience for Gravesend and District Theatre Guild performance of The Magdalen Whitewash at the Guild Theatre, Vale Ro

A TOP Hollywood star has returned to the town to support her former theatre group.

Gravesend-born Bond girl Gemma Arterton was among the audience for Gravesend and District Theatre Guild performance of The Magdalen Whitewash at the Guild Theatre, Vale Road, Gravesend, last Saturday.

The play tells the story of a group of young women who have been locked away in Ireland's Magdalen Laundries, condemned to a life of hard labour after being deemed a threat or falling pregnant out of wedlock.

Arterton, 23, who is currently appearing on screens alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Rhys Ifans in 1960s pirate radio comedy The Boat That Rocked, was a former member of the Guild before she left to study at London drama school RADA.

She said: "My passion for theatre started at the Guild so I was thrilled to see the passion continuing with such talented young actors in The Magdalen Whitewash. The work was of such a high standard it made me proud to be from Gravesend."

The Dartford-born 007 star was also joined by the play's author Valerie Goodwin who travelled from Somerset to see the performance.

She said: "I love seeing my play performed whenever I can and this has been the best production so far. The set, lighting and live music were amazing and I agree with the adjudicator everyone of the cast must be congratulated on their ensemble work."

Georgie Hurst, 17, of Gravesend, played the part of Mary. She said: "We were lucky enough to have the playwright herself, Valerie Goodwin, come to see it, giving us a wonderful opportunity to have her views on how well we brought her words and characters to life.

"It was also exciting to have Gemma Arterton come back to show her support, giving us all a view of how much we could possibly achieve.

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