Page 3 Profile: Nicola Miles-Wildin, Paralympic Opening Ceremony star

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The Independent Online

I missed it. What did she do?

The 34-year-old disabled actress from Gloucester played the central role of Miranda, the naïve and sheltered character from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The juvenile chronic arthritis sufferer opened the show by saying: "O wonder! How many goodly creatures there are here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in't!" Ms Miles-Wildin was guided through the "Enlightenment"-themed extravaganza by Stephen Hawking and Sir Ian McKellen, who played Miranda's father Prospero.

Was this her first big role?

Prior to the ceremony, she said: "I'm used to working in theatres and small-scale touring in village halls and schools," and confessed to having "anxiety dreams" about her upcoming role. The last time she had performed Shakespeare, she said, was as a student. But just as her character Miranda smashed through the glass ceiling with her walking stick, so Ms Miles-Wildin has opened a new door to a high-profile career. Everyone will be watching what the actress, who studied drama at The University of Glamorgan, does next.

Where can I see her next?

She works with the Graeae Theatre Company, a professional theatre company made up of disabled people, so look out for their productions. She is also one of the Rhinestone Rollers, a wheelchair dancing troupe.