TV star Wendi back to being a baddie

20 Sept 2016.....Wendi Peters (Wicked Queen) and Joanna Sawyer (Snow White) at the launch of Sheffield Theatres pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs outside the Lyceum Theatre. Picture Scott Merrylees

20 Sept 2016.....Wendi Peters (Wicked Queen) and Joanna Sawyer (Snow White) at the launch of Sheffield Theatres pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs outside the Lyceum Theatre. Picture Scott Merrylees

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“I always seem to play the baddie,” lamented Coronation Street star Wendi Peters about her role in Lyceum pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“People watch you on TV and think that’s how you are.”

Of course, Wendi isn’t really fed up of playing roles like the Wicked Queen.

“It’s much more fun to play the baddie. I’d rather have the kids screaming at me.”

It’s all still quite new to the actress who spent nine years in Weatherfield as Cilla Battersby-Brown, a character as loved by the show’s audience as she was disliked by her TV neighbours.

Wendi said: “She was such an in-your-face character, a bit of a panto character. I loved her and it was wonderful.

“I wanted to move back to things I’d done before and have a bit more variety in my career.”

That includes treading the boards at the Lyceum with Damian Williams and Phil Gallagher this year.

Living in London also meant that working in Manchester took Wendi away from her family. But she’d never say never again “if someone comes up with a really big storyline”.

Wendi said: “I’ve only done a handful of pantomimes, three before Corrie and two since. I’ve often ended up doing musicals at Christmas, rather than panto. It’s lovely to be back doing panto again.”

“My favourite thing is the audiences and their reactions.

“I love looking out there and having that fun on stage.

“There’s nothing taken too seriously, although we have to tell the story.

“I love watching the kids shouting back at me.”

Wendi said that pantomime is an important part of British theatre because, if children come to see them, it can break down barriers and encourage them to return to see other shows when they get older.

These days she’s lucky enough to do a variety of different jobs, including filming the latest series of Jacqueline Wilson’s story Hetty Feather for CBBC and performing in cabaret.

Wendi is enjoying being back in Sheffield. “The very first job I did out of college in 1987 was at the Crucible. I was one of the dancers in Cinderella with Bobby Knutt. It was brilliant.”

She said: “Sheffield just looks so different from when I was here. Just being driven around a bit, it looks fantastic.

“It’s always been a wonderful city with a great heart and now they’re finally putting money into it and it’s bang up to date.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is on until January 8.

Box office: call 0114 249 6000 or go to sheffield Theatres

n Pantomime review: P32