ROBERTA Taylor is old school.

The actress reveals she is not interested in Facebook or Twitter. "I don't need to let people know what I am thinking or where I am," she says, smiling over a coffee at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.

Right now, it is better people do know her location. The former EastEnders star is appearing as Gertrude in a modern-day version of Hamlet and she credits the Citz for her acting training, back in the mid-1970s.

"When I left drama school I came to the Citz to get my Equity Card. In those days you could not work in television without having done 40 weeks of theatre. And I was so lucky to come here, being so aware of the productions and who worked here. Having worked for 38 years in the business, I would say my strongest work was done here."

Why was this the case? "You were pushed to look at the storytelling in a slightly different way, and with a bit of fun," she says. "And the theatre had the support system right though - it still does. But it also has the equality ethos. It doesn't matter if you are an actor, a cleaner or a stage hand. Everyone is important at the Citz."

Taylor was not trepidatious about coming to Glasgow. "When I told the students in my year at drama school what I would be earning in Glasgow - it was £65, which was quite good at the time - they said 'Yes, that's danger money!' But it wasn't dangerous. It was great fun. As a Londoner, I felt Glasgow, like London, had a great energy. Edinburgh, for some reason, does not have the same level."

The Citz in the 1960s and 1970s was famous for its little Bohemian world. "Yes, but we won't go there," Taylor says laughing, but then adds: "Although the hardened beasts here taught me the ropes." In all aspects of life? "More or less," she says, grinning again.

Taylor worked with the likes of Rupert Everett and Gary Oldman in Proust's A Waste Of Time, both playing her servants, she notes.

"What I liked about the Citz roles was they broke the moulds. Most theatres employed pretty little feminine women, but up here we all had to be the Bette Davis of our time, the broads, and that's not what many people wanted in women.

"I learned great stage craft here. I learnt filmic technology from Philip Prowse, who was such a great designer and knew the story he wanted to tell; it was all about lighting and positioning.

"And director Giles Havergal was great in spotting why, for example, something would work for three nights and then not get a laugh. It was all about feeling as free as possible to be able to tell the story."

Taylor says that for a time, in the 1980s and 1990s, theatre companies in England were not keen on Citz-trained actors.

"I am not sure why it was," she says. "Perhaps it is because there was very much a European feel about the theatre, with actors from all over appearing here. But I do know so many other British actors were jealous of the Citz experience. Helen Mirren once told me she would have loved to come to the Citz. But the Citz, I learned later, never thought she would have come."

Television success - Taylor has also enjoyed lengthy stints in the likes of The Bill - has not come about as a result of her huge theatre experience and plaudits.

"Television producers come into theatre only when they are looking for young, fresh faces," she says. "Television feeds on itself and you can see that in the casting. But no matter how good the actors are, television eats them up. I knew that before going into EastEnders, which is why I planned to stay for only two years. It was never about the money. I have just always been happy to pay the gas bill.

"Before going into EastEnders, people knew my name in the business but not my face. After going in, they know your face. But only your character's name."

Now she is starring in Hamlet at the Citz alongside her husband Peter Guinness, playing Claudius to her Gertrude. At least they will not have a problem creating passion on stage.

"You think?" she says with a dry, throaty laugh.