Following the news that the Almeida Theatre are transferring their current production of Hamlet starring Andrew Scott to the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre, actress Juliet Stevenson has...
Wendi Peters currently plays 'Princess Puffer' in the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Arts Theatre
Date of Birth
29 Feb 1968 ... Yes I'm a Leap year baby, so I'm only 11 officially. Usually celebrate on 28th of Feb when not a Leap Year.
Place of birth
A village called Whalley, near Blackburn in Lancashire
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I trained at London Studio Centre from 1984 - 87
Briefly tell us how you became involved with "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".
I've always loved the score for Drood and listen to it a lot. I was at college with Matthew Gould, the director, and he called and asked if I would be interested.... couldn't say no, and am thrilled to be doing my first musical in 15 years.
Briefly tell us about the character of Princess Puffer that you play in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".
Princess Puffer is a the owner of an opium den in London and, although quite comedic and bawdy, has had a very hard life and been treated badly in the past. She's great fun to play but has a serious edge in Act 2.
What was your first stage performance?
Difficult to remember a specific one but I started dancing at the age of 8 and entered a lot of dance festivals, we were in a different place every weekend, so probably a novice section at King George's Hall in Blackburn. I do however remember vividly being a dog called Fido in the school nativity in church when I was 10... can even remember my rhyme !
What is your career highlight to date?
Obviously, I would have to say Coronation Street for all the opportunities it has given me, but from an acting perspective I would have to say a one woman play called Mrs Whippy, written by Cecelia Ahern, which I performed in Dublin and on tour. It was such a personal challenge, 2 hours on stage on your own and I loved the piece.
What roles would you most like to play?
I don't really think that much about what I'd like to do in the future, I'm really enjoying now ... lots of variety, however, from a musical theatre point of view the 2 roles I would love to play, and have wanted to since I was at college are Rose in Gypsy and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd.... most character actresses dream I suppose.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
It has to be treat others as you would like to be treated.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
A few costume malfunctions over the years I suppose. 1st night of my 1st panto and job out of college and I'm tapping away in the finale and don't realise my top is getting lower and lower and the Sheffield audience were treated to my boobs.... and recently in Drood at The Landor, although I don't think the audience noticed, I pulled out a breast enhancement from my dress instead of a flag at the end of one of the numbers !!
What is the most annoying part about your job?
I love my job but it has to be being away from home, either on tour or out in the evenings... I miss bedtimes with my daughter, even though she's nearly 12.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I really don't know as it's all I ever wanted to do, but I do have a passion for cooking and baking so maybe I'd have gone into the culinary world.
Favourite after-show haunts?
I'm really boring and like to go home unless I have friends in and then usually just to the nearest pub.
Who are your favourite actors/actresses?
I have so many but to name a few Brenda Blethyn, Alison Steadman, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Patricia Routledge, Margaret Rutherford, Beryl Reid, all fantastic character actresses.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
On a whim and thinking about Drood I'd say Charles Dickens, such an amazing writer of characters, and I'd ask where his inspiration came from.
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors.
I'm not a great reader and it's not something I'm proud of. I never seem to have the time and when I pick up a book at bedtime I fall asleep. I enjoy a good biography when I'm on hoilday, a recent one I read and raelly enjoyed was Celia Imrie's. It was very funny but also very honest and a true representation of a working actress.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
I only tend to go to the cinema with my daughter or with my girlfriends to see chick flicks. Our last outing was to The Best Marigold Exotic Hotel which I loved. Favourite movies are the great musicals.... On the Town, Easter Parade, Singing in the Rain, bring back lots of childhood memories spending hours watching them.
Favourite TV programs?
Well, of course I'd have to say Corrie, although I don't catch it much at the moment, and I love cookery programmes, Great British Menu being a favourite and I can't wait for the new series of Miranda, she's a genius !
Favourite holiday destinations?
We like a mixture of holidays, some city breaks ,others lying by a pool. My parents have a place in Spain so it's lovely to pop there and relax but my favourite city is New York for the hustle and bustle and , of course, the theatre.
Do you have any hobbies?
I'm an avid swimmer and try to go at least 4 times a week and I love baking and even keep a blog diary www.wendipeterspuddingqueen.blogspot.com
Do you have any superstitions?
I'm not very superstitious but won't tolerate new shoes on a table or walk under a ladder if there's a choice.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
I would take moisturiser, all Charles Dickens' novels ( if that counts as one) and my ipod( although I wouldn't have charging facilities !!)
What are your future plans?
I don't think too far ahead, but just to carry on doing a variety of work and enjoying it.