Former Coronation Street star Vicky Entwistle is looking forward to returning to the town where she trained in drama – and plans on being as horrid as she can.
Accrington-born Vicky, who commuted to Blackpool and the Fylde College to study drama whilst working night shifts at a supermarket, is back in Blackpool to play the Wicked Queen in the Grand Theatre’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime.
Known to millions as factory worker Janice Battersby, a role she played for 14 years, Vicky says she can’t wait to take on what will only be her second pantomime role
“The first was six years ago and I only had four scenes to do,” she says. “It was all very new to me because until then I’d never actually seen a panto before. I was actually pretty frightened by the whole thing because I’d never done any children’s theatre.”
This time however she knows what to expect and says the role of the Wicked Queen is “the best part ever”.
“I’m really looking forward to being booed and for all that audience participation – all the things I was worried about before are the things I’m looking forward to this time. The more they boo the better I will be doing my job.”
It’s not Vicky’s first time at the Grand though. In her early acting days she was a member of the Hull Truck Theatre Company when they brought Like A Virgin to the resort.
It was later in the same show’s tour - when it was at Huddersfield - that she was spotted for Coronation Street.
“It was different because I didn’t have to audition,” she says. “These days they’ve to go through two or three before they are even considered.”
But after so long pounding the cobbles was it strange when she left the soap?
“I missed it but I was pleased to find that there is life after the Street,” she admits. “It does take over your life and although it’s a very happy programme to be involved with, there comes a time when you want more than learning a new script almost every day.
“I went to drama school and learned different things. I needed to prove to myself again – and the rest of the world – that I could still do them. I wanted to show that there was more to me than Janice.
“I couldn’t have done it for that long if I hadn’t enjoyed it but I started in it when I was 28 and finished when I was 42 – and in that time I’d moved three times, got married and got two dogs.
“It came to the stage where I didn’t want to look back and start regretting what I might have done.”
So for the moment it’s panto preparations and she can’t wait to start working on her script.
After that her dream roles would involve “strong women who have something to say”.