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Tributes pour in for actress and Talawa co-founder Mona Hammond

Hammond has died aged 91

Mona Hammond
© Dan Wooller

Tributes have been pouring in overnight for Mona Hammond, who has died aged 91.

Though perhaps best known for her television appearances in EastEnders and Desmond's, Hammond was responsible for co-founding the much-admired theatre company Talawa.

The Jamaican-British stage actor of Chinese descent appeared on stages across the UK, with two years at the National Theatre. One of her first roles was playing Lady Macbeth at the Roundhouse in 1970, considered one of the first times an actress of colour had professionally played the role on a British stage.

Author Marcus Ryder said: "It is with sadness that I wake up to the news Mona Hammond has died. Among her numerous achievements she co-founded Talawa Theatre Company in 1985", while presenter Charlene White said: "Mona Hammond, a trailblazer in every way. Thank-you."

Performer Cherrelle Skeete said: "Because of her we can. We know the mountains you moved", while hit playwright Roy Williams tweeted: "We are here because she was there." Actress Michelle Gayle added: "A trailblazer. A Queen."

Meera Syal recalled: "I was lucky enough to share a stage with her in a production of Blood Wedding -phenomenal actress and human being. Rest In Power."