All Or Nothing for Sixties mod music fan Carol

Carol Harrison, scriptwriter and actress, in All or Nothing
Carol Harrison, scriptwriter and actress, in All or Nothing
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EastEnders star Carol Harrison went back to her own East London roots and her friendship with an icon of 1960s mod music to inspire her new show.

Carol, who played Louise Raymond in the soap, quit in 1999 to study an MA in screenwriting and now acts and writes.

She decided to write All Or Nothing, celebrating the music of The Small Faces and her own friendship with the band’s frontman, Steve Marriott.

Carol said: “I wanted to talk about mod because it’s the most enduring pop culture, it always comes back.

“I wanted to be a mod back in the day but I was a little bit young. I came into it in 1967 with the mohair suits. Once a mod, always a mod!

“I wanted to talk about the 60s and all that excitement and working-class people being recognised as individuals and artists.

“I knew Steve Marriott when I was eight. He came from the same part of London as me.

“My cousin was in a band with Steve and I lived two streets away from him. He must have been about 15 and he was just fantastic and always kind. I just had a bit of a crush on him!

“Steve was hilarious. I remember him joking with me and he was this ball of energy and this amazing, amazing talent.

“In later life I realised just how amazing their music was. He was one of the best singers we’ve had in this country. I remember the excitement and power of their live performances.

“I met (drummer) Kenney Jones later in life and heard the whole story of The Small Faces which is just such a bitter-sweet tale.

“I just think they are the most underestimated band of the 60s. If they’d ever stayed together, who knows?”

As a young actress Carol had a small role in an iconic mod film, the 1979 film version of The Who’s rock opera, Quadrophenia.

She said: “It still stands the test of time. I wanted to create something like that. Someone has come back to see it 19 times and a lot of people have come back again and again.”

Carol plays Steve Marriott’s mum Kay in the show, who she had met. “She sadly died last year and never got to see it. Steve’s sister loves it, she’s been a couple of times.

“Kay and Steve had a very feisty, intense relationship. It was loving but ferocious at times. She was a very important part of his life that formed him.

“There are some poignant scenes between me and Steve.”

All Or Nothing is at Cast in Doncaster from September 22 to 24 and at Buxton Opera House from October 3 to 5.