Ex-En­der set to take Yel­low Vic Road to live up North

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

EASTEN­DERS star Ch­eryl Fer­gi­son is plan­ning a move to the North West, af­ter repris­ing her role in South­port Theatre’s Wizard of Oz.

Ch­eryl, who is prob­a­bly best known for play­ing Heather Trott, in EastEn­ders, was in South­port last month to per­form in the clas­sic mu­si­cal.

She played the Wicked Witch of the West - a far cry from her love­able char­ac­ter on EastEn­ders, who de­parted the soap in 2012, hav­ing been mur­dered by Ben Mitchell.

Ch­eryl was born in Kent but spent a lot of time in the North grow­ing up, as her mum lived north of Black­pool: “My first job was in Wi­gan Pier. Pretty much ev­ery sig­nif­i­cant job I have done has been in the North West.

“I ab­so­lutely love it there and I’ll be per­ma­nently mov­ing soon.

“In terms of TV work, a lot of it is mov­ing up North now. Mov­ing there will give me the chance to be by the sea and ex­pe­ri­ence a lit­tle bit of seren­ity.

“Lon­don is great – but the pace is very fast.”

The South­port show, she said, re­mained au­then­tic to the story that peo­ple know and have ap­plauded since its movie de­but in 1939.

She said: “Even though my role is scary, I like to make it a bit cheeky. I’ll call the chil­dren names and I want them to shout back! The show is true to the story but with lit­tle things in it to make it even more ap­peal­ing to chil­dren, like UV lights and pup­pets.”

Ch­eryl has just re­turned from re­hearsals in Glas­gow for another show, Menopause the Mu­si­cal, which will stop at most cities around the coun­try next year. She hopes that by this time, she’ll be liv­ing some­where in Lan­cashire, such as Lytham St Annes.

“You get the best of both worlds liv­ing around here. I used to think South­port was an old lady kind of place, but that’s not the case at all. There’s lots of choice here and you can dip in and out. You have all the beau­ti­ful sites here like the Vic­to­rian shop fronts, The Clock Tower, the gar­dens, but then there’s a lot of new vi­brant things, too. So, to be young and by the sea is OK. The world doesn’t re­volve around Lon­don, it’s about mak­ing a place work and mak­ing it vi­brant, I think that’s what’s hap­pen­ing in South­port.

Ch­eryl has been act­ing for more than 30 years, and has had roles in a num­ber of big TV shows, from Allo Allo to Doc­tor Who.

She said: “Peo­ple mostly re­mem­ber me for Heather Trott and are usu­ally sur­prised when they come to see the show. They don’t know I can sing or play in­stru­ments.

“Theatre is in­stantly re­ward­ing be­cause you’re in front of a live au­di­ence, whereas TV is re­ward­ing be­cause more peo­ple get to see you. I know theatre can be ex­pen­sive but I hon­estly think live theatre is the way for­ward for com­mu­ni­ties.

“There’s noth­ing like it and then there’s the thrill of not know­ing if some­thing will go wrong. I’m a big ad­vo­cate of peo­ple get­ting out there and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing things.”

The show ran at South­port Theatre and Con­ven- tion Cen­tre, run­ning for three days, be­fore mov­ing on to The Ep­stein Theatre, Liver­pool for the week­end af­ter­wards.

Ch­eryl Fer­gi­son says South­port is be­com­ing more vi­brant

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