Maria Friedman (born 19 March 1961) is an English actress and director of stage and screen, best known for her work in musical theatre. She is a seven-time Olivier Award nominee, winning three. Her first win was for her 1994 one-woman show, By Special Arrangement. She has also twice won Best Actress in a Musical for the original London productions of Passion and Ragtime. She is more recently known for her role as Elaine Peacock in EastEnders. She also made an appearance as the narrator in the 1999 straight to video version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.