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