From the Street, to streets of Paris

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She’s left behind the cobbles of Coronation Street and loud-mouthed character Cilla Battersby to pursue other projects including Adrenaline Junkie and MasterChef.

Now Wendi Peters is preparing to take to the stage in Durham for a classic rom-com. We find out more.

WENDI Peters couldn’t be more different from rent-a-gob Street resident Cilla.

For starters, there’s her lovely, well-spoken lilt that’s quite unlike Cilla’s hard Lancashire twang.

There’s also the fact that Wendi’s proved to be far more talented than her money-grabbing Corrie counterpart.

Since leaving the soap four years ago, Wendi’s shown her culinary worth in the 2009 MasterChef kitchen, tested her brains in Mastermind and Countdown and took an altogether unexpected turn by jumping out of an aeroplane for Jack Osbourne: Celebrity Adrenaline Junkie in 2008.

She’s also amassed a catalogue of stage work including roles in Vagina Monologues, Grumpy Old Women and Guys and Dolls.

Now she’s returning to an old stomping ground with the Hull Truck Theatre Company’s production of April in Paris penned by John Godber.

Wendi, who last worked with Hull Truck on John Godber’s Teachers 16 years ago, said: “I am thrilled to be working with Hull Truck and John Godber again. I have been touring for some time now and I love it – it’s great to work at different venues around the country and meet lots of people. Taking this role in April in Paris was an easy decision – I was keen to work with John again and this is a beautiful play.

“I was thrilled when they phoned me up. John was one of the first directors to have faith in me as an actress. I had done a lot of musicals before but he gave me the chance to do something more serious and different.”

Wendi plays housewife Bet alongside Truck favourite Robert Angell.

Bet’s a woman desperately seeking new experiences to liven up her dull existence. When she hears from Bella magazine that she has won a weekend break to Paris, she is thrilled – but unsurprisingly, her husband Al is less enthusiastic.

The pair end up boarding the ferry together and find themselves in a host of hilarious situations. As well as learning about French culture and cuisine, they also discover a lot more about each other.

Wendi says: “It’s a two hander, a bitter sweet romantic comedy, about a middle aged couple who are stuck in a bit of a rut. He’s lost his job and she has a part-time one, but her obsession is entering competitions.

“She wins one in a magazine and the play is about their time in Paris, rediscovering their relationship and discovering there is another world out there.

“It’s very observational humour about Brits abroad.”

With such a varied work schedule, does Wendi miss the cobbled streets of Corrie and on-screen children Fizz and Chesney?

She says: “I dip in now and then and if I know they’ve got a storyline coming up I watch, but I work in theatre now so I’m often working when it’s on.

“I had a brilliant four years in Coronation Street, it was absolutely amazing and I worked with some fantastic people. I’m so grateful for the opportunities it has given me.

“Cilla was so in your face and over the top, but I’ve been in so many things as myself, such as MasterChef, that I think people realise I’m nothing like Cilla.”

*April in Paris runs from March 22 to March 26 at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Tickets are priced between £12-£15 and can be purchased via the Box Office on 332 4041 or on-line at www.galadurham.co.uk