Movie beauty Gwyneth Paltrow returned to work last night (01SEP03) for the first time since taking a career break following the death of her father last year (02).

The blonde actress was devastated when Bruce Paltrow, 58, died during celebrations to mark her 30th birthday in Venice, Italy.

And so, following a break of nearly a year, Gwyneth took part in a SHAKESPEAREAN royal gala charity performance on the London stage with British royal Prince Charles looking on.

She repeated her OSCAR-winning role as JULIET - alongside Joseph Fiennes's ROMEO - from Shakespeare In Love, but had to read from a script because the scene had only been selected that day.

Gwyneth says, "It was great to be back on stage, but I was really nervous beforehand. I enjoyed it and I'll possibly do some more theatre now."

Boyfriend Chris Martin of COLDPLAY says, "I really felt for her up there tonight. To perform sometimes can be a real overload for the senses. It can be so emotional.

"I held her when she came off stage and she was shaking. But it was the performance of a lifetime, she was amazing."

The event at the GLOBE THEATRE raised $160,000 (GBP100,000) for Charles' charity THE PRINCE'S TRUST, and also featured an appearance by screen legend DAME Diana Rigg.

02/09/2003 17:16