Actress Natalie Gumede has had a high-profile debut year in Coronation Street after her character Kirsty Soames took centre stage in a domestic abuse storyline with fiancé Tyrone (Alan Halsall). It’s a performance that has earned Gumede a nomination for Best Newcomer at the National Television Awards, but can Kirsty’s story extend beyond this current plotline?
“It’s in discussion at the moment,” the actress admitted at a preview screening of Kirsty and Tyrone’s upcoming wedding. “Everyone is going to want to see her face her comeuppance and have some justice for Tyrone. Especially when you consider how far Kirsty has gone in terms of the physical abuse and manipulation of Tyrone and the people around him. So I’m very aware that Kirsty could well have a shelf life.
“I had no expectations as to how long I was going to be employed by Corrie. It’s better to tell a great story than to worry about how long your contract is.”
When asked about the brutal nature of the sequences that show Kirsty attacking Tyrone, Gumede commented: “Sometimes we’ve done scenes and we’ve been convinced that they wouldn’t be shown. We’re obviously hugely respectful of the timeslot, but I’ve still watched it at 7.30pm and thought ‘Wow, that’s brave’. But I think it’s been important for people who’ve suffered such abuse to see that story being told. It’s something that they can relate to.”
And if her time on the Street was to come to an end, what would the actress like to do next? “I’d love to do some comedy. Something light-hearted. I love comedies like Peep Show and US sitcoms like Modern Family. I’d worked more as a comedy actress than a dramatic actress before Corrie [Gumede appeared in BBC Three’s Ideal and BBC2’s The Persuasionists], so this role has been a great test to see if I could do this side of it. And it’s very hard to predict what’s going to land in your lap or what you’re going to have to go out and seek. I don’t like to place too much of an expectation on things.”