Currently, Wendi Peters is playing Fairy Sugarsnap in Jack and the Beanstalk at Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield, alongside a cast including Maxwell Thorpe, with the pantomime running until 3rd January 2023. In theatre, Wendi most recently toured nationally in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as Widow Marietta Papenfuss, and amongst her previous stage roles, she played Diana in You Are Here at the Southwark Playhouse last year and she played Mrs Baskin in BIG the Musical at the Dominion Theatre. Wendi started filming for her latest TV role of the new GP practice partner Dr. Nina Bulsara in Doctors, and she will be seen in the series for the first time next year, and over her years on screen, her roles include Cook Jenkins in CBBC’s Hetty Feather and Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street. Talking to Wendi, we found out from her about playing Fairy Sugarsnap in Jack and the Beanstalk at Lyceum Theatre, touring with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and filming for her upcoming role of Dr. Nina Bulsara in Doctors.
You are playing Fairy Sugarsnap in Jack and the Beanstalk at Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield, what are you looking forward to most for playing the character?
It’ll just be complete fun!! Singing, dancing, glitter. Everything you need at Christmas.
What can audiences expect from your portrayal of the character?
She’ll be a cheeky, Northern fairy with a heart of gold, but determined to beat the baddie!!
How do you find the experience interacting with a pantomime audience and why would you recommend booking tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk at Lyceum Theatre?
I love the interaction with the audience in pantomime, especially here at the Lyceum in Sheffield. The audiences here are always amazing!! Loud and determined to have a great time. You’re guaranteed a spectacular, funny, and fabulous show here.
What was it like meeting the rest of the cast and reading the pantomime script for the first time?
We had a great first day with coffee and a read-through. Then straight into rehearsals as we only had seven days!! Everyone was so lovely and it’s great to be back with Damian (Williams), who plays Dame Trott, again.
Is there anything you enjoy most about being part of a pantomime over the festive season?
I love being part of a great company at Christmas. We spend most of our time in the theatre with two shows a day. We have a ball!! Also, it’s wonderful seeing all the kids in the audience enjoying live theatre and not playing on tablets!!
You were part of the National Tour of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as Widow Marietta Papenfuss, what was this like?
Sleepy Hollow was a wonder folk/horror play. A great adaptation of the Washington Irving novel. It was really great to play something very different. Mariette was the outsider of the village. A strange witch-like character who we eventually found out was immortal.
How was your time in You Are Here at Southwark Playhouse last year?
Playing Diana in You Are Here was definitely a career highlight. I adored it. It was a 90 minute-long musical about a 57-year-old woman who walks out on her husband on the night of the moon landings in 1969. She leaves to ‘find herself’. It takes her on an interesting journey with all the characters she meets. It was basically a one-woman show. I had 18 songs and never left the stage. Challenging and rewarding!!
You played Mrs Baskin in BIG the Musical at the Dominion Theatre in the West End, do you have any stand-out highlights from being in the musical?
BIG was a fabulous experience. Being in the West End, in one of its biggest theatres was a joy!!
We had the most beautiful company and creatives, and it was a spectacular show. My highlight, other than being on stage, was working with Matthew Kelly. I adore him!!
What can you tell us about filming your role of Dr. Nina Bulsara in Doctors and how has it been joining the cast?
I started filming on BBC Doctors at the beginning of October and I’m really enjoying it. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m loving playing Dr. Nina Bulsara. She’s the new GP practice partner, and certainly comes in with plans. She’s a bit of a force to be reckoned with. I’m looking forward to getting back there after panto.
On CBBC, you played Cook Jenkins in Hetty Feather, how was it working on a Jacqueline Wilson series?
I loved being in Hetty Feather. It was a bit like having a summer job!! As the cast were mainly kids, it had to be filmed over the summer holidays. The adults still get together every few months. We’re a really close bunch even six years on.
What are some of your favourite memories from playing Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street over the years?
There are too many to mention!!! However, I guess singing with Status Quo at ‘the wedding’ is up there!!
Can you tell us about some of your other screen and theatre work, which has included Midsomer Murders, Call Me Vicky and White Christmas?
I’m very lucky to have had such a varied career on stage and on screen. I love the fact that I go between the two, especially when one moment I’m in a serious, no makeup, drama and the next I’m in a full out, glitzy Broadway musical!!
Do you have any favourite films, TV and theatre shows to watch?
I love the classic musicals. They made me want to be in the theatre. My all-time favourite is On the Town with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Of course, at this time of the year, White Christmas is a must.
How do you like to spend your free time?
When I have some, I love catching up with friends, going to the theatre, eating out, and walking my dog, Dorothy.
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