Lesley Manville fought a group of teens in the theatre that night (no guesses which one won!)

She is well known for her presence on stage but Lesley Manville can also make her mark as a member of an audience – as a group of rowdy teenagers found out during a play she was watching.

The actress who will portray Princess Margaret, in The Crown’s sixth and fifth series, met with the group, who were talking loudly while using their phones in a London production of The Crown.

Jo Elvin was present at the event and recalls that she witnessed a small woman emerge from nowhere, in ninja style, looking over the boys.

Lesley Manville (pictured) will play Princess Margaret in the fifth and sixth series of The Crown

Lesley Manville (pictured), will portray Princess Margaret during the sixth and fifth series of The Crown

‘I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying but whatever it was, complete with glaring eyes and an angry, pointy index finger, it rendered them mute and staring at the ground, genuinely chastened…Lesley’s citizen’s intervention salvaged the day for everyone in the theatre.’

The incident occurred during Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At The End Of The Lane performance in 2019. This story exemplifies the inner strength Ms Manville had when she moved into a board house aged 16 to pursue an acting career.

When she talks to You, she says: “Noone took care of my needs.” My only friend was me.

Manville in 2019. Now 65, the actress says she has 'extraordinary stamina', adding: 'When people half my age are flaking and tired, I'm still going'

Manville in 2019. Manville in 2019.

I was really influenced by that time in my own life. It ingrained in me the feeling of “I will look after myself – I won’t rely on anybody else to do things for me. “I’ll just get on with it.”

She was first seen in Emmerdale’s long-running TV soap. After that, she quickly became an actress of choice for Mike Leigh. Alfie is her only child with Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour star.

She has been honored with an Olivier Award in the revival of Ibsen’s Ghosts, and she was nominated to an Oscar and three Baftas.

In Harlots, a period drama about women in love, she was the main character of Mum on BBC TV.

The actress, now 65, says that she is able to maintain her ‘extraordinary stamina.’

She also laments the inability of younger actors to make enough effort.