Chris Park chats to Cheryl Fergison post Eastenders

Cheryl Fergison will perhaps be most recognisable from her six year stint playing Heather Trott in EastEnders until her character met a sticky end in 2012 at the hands of Ben Mitchell.

Since then Fergison has not left the public eye, from her appearance in the Big Brother house in 2012 and a large number of stage productions.

Today she remains as busy as ever, concluding an appearance in Menopause the Musical before reprising her 2016 role as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz at Stockport Plaza in August, however she found the time to answer our questions.

1 Tell me about your experiences already in the Wizard of Oz?    

As an actor it is amazing when you get offered roles such as wicked witch in Wizard ..being known for such a long time as the lovable character "Hev". In Eastenders it is great to be given the chance to a play a " baddie" and it gives an actor a chance to play something very different which is always fun! I was lucky enough to play this part for Regal Productions in St Helens and work with a cracking cast / team.  

2 How long have you played the wicked witch?

I played the wicked witch for a couple of weeks last year at the Theatre Royal St Helens  and I said to our producer Chantelle Nolan from Regal Productions this is a great show it should really tour and please bear me in mind if you do it again as I would love to bring her back to life! This production has a great script with something for all in its visual and content 

3   How does the show differ from the film?

It’s the original story and has the iconic songs in it as well as modern music , dance, and surprise element, but people will love it as it is definitely a clever but truthful production of it . 

4 Is it scary to take on such an iconic role?

Yes and no, of course people will always compare any character from the film to the one you play, it's such an iconic film it can be hard to think outside the box sometimes, for example I am not a "green" witch. Some don't mind it, others think that's what she should be. Put it this way I don't think you will like her and you will defiantly be cheering when she melts, lol 

5 No green skin?

Nope, no green skin but the jealousy is within !!! You still have big permission to boo her  

6 If you could ask Oz for one thing, what would it be?

As we know he's more of a therapist than a real magician so maybe I would ask him to analyse some people's way of thinking and "put better" people's minds towards being more tolerant , thoughtful , patient & happy. I think some people of the world have lost their way and through a different mind-set it would be great for humans to respect each other again, a bit deep me thinks. Or I guess I could just ask for a free all inclusive holiday for me & my family to go to the Maldives!!!!!

7 You’re also juggling Menopause the Musical, what challenges do each offer?

I have just finished my second tour of Menopause the Musical, the show was all singing all dancing one night shows in theatres up and down the length and breadth of the UK. Iit was the best fun but extremely exhausting every night so although we went to most towns in Britain we never really got to see much of the places. Rest was the key factor in order to give the 100% every day that was needed   Also the voice needed rest so at times it was nice being quiet.

8 Which destinations do you look forward to playing?

On Menopause we went everywhere over the last two years , we were so lucky and blessed to entertain so many people, it's amazing when you think of the thousands who have come out to support  live theatre. It's a great feeling  

9 What other plans are in the pipeline?

I have literally just started a new theatre job in Belfast at the Lyric, a comedy play called The Ladykillers. It was a film originally and the amazing Graham Linehan, writer of Father Ted and of course the IT Crowd which I was lucky enough to be in, has written it for stage. We are an all-female cast with most of us playing men !! So again another totally different role for me to be playing before I head to Stockport Plaza to give my wicked witch in August.

10 Is it difficult to redefine your career after being in such a big show?

I always say this, I am extremely blessed to be doing a job I love and the work I have done and people I've worked with have been phenomenal. I hope, please God, it continues. I have a large Twitter following and am always amazed at how the public continue to support and have an interest in my work / career  

EastEnders was an amazing time in my career and it gave me lots of other different opportunities but I have always said it's about work ethic and determination to succeed, no matter what people say or how they want to put you down, don't let people say you " can't " do something and as long as you can say in your heart you tried that's all that matters. It's not for show it's for you ! 

11 Any other roles that you would love to play?

Again as long as I can work, do the job I love and people still support my work I will take role after role that is offered. Every one is a challenge and every one should be a different experience. I just hope that the work continues to come, that it's varied and I'm able to pay my bills,  put food on the table and continue to be employed in the job I love the best. 

Hey diddly Dee and actors life for me ...

Cheryl is appearing in the Wizard of Oz from 7th to 12th August. Tickets are available via the link below

By Chris Park for Canal St Online

Read More at www.quaytickets.com

story published on  Wed, 10 May 2017