Interview: Sheila Ferguson talks about final panto role in Northampton
For a woman with a family connection to Northampton, it seems right and fitting that Sheila Ferguson's currently planned final role in pantomime.
The Three Degrees star plays Scheherazadein Aladdin which comes to the Royal & Derngate from December 8 to 31.
Sheila said: “One of my twin daughters Alex will be coming here with her friends for a reunion to see the show. She graduated from Northampton University.
“This is my 12th pantomime and I think it is going to be my last so it is really important to me to make it as good as I can.
“I haven’t been able to have Christmas with my family for the past 12 years and my daughters have been so great about it. It is time for me to do a Christmas dinner.”
Jump aboard a high-flying magical carpet headed for Old Peking and make tickets for this year’s spectacular Northampton pantomime Aladdin one of your three wishes.
Starring musical and television star Paul Nicholas, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson, follow Aladdin on a spectacular adventure featuring a beautiful love story, flying carpets, a wish-granting genie, an evil sorcerer and a lamp packed full of spectacular family entertainment.
At the time of chatting to Sheila, the script was still being finalised for Aladdin but she has high hopes for the show.
She said: “I am sure it will be lovely because it is an extremely professional team working on everything to make it look as good as possible.
“I turned up and was given my costume to wear and it looks incredible.
“You’ve got to come and see this panto, it will be the first chance that Paul and I have worked with each other on the stage and we have wanted to do for such a long time.
“I’ve also just heard Jaymi sing and that boy can sing.”
And for the singer with a huge discography, will she be belting out some tunes in the pantomime.
Sheila said: “I don’t think I did a pantomime where I haven’t been singingso I’m sure I will be in this one.
“I know one or two of the songs I will be signing but I am keeping it under wraps for the time being.”
With a resume which include television, concerts, musical theatre and acting, does she have a preference on what to do.”
“What I really like to do is stand in the middle of the stage and take it. That’s the kind of feeling you get when you are singing to an audience rather than a camera.
“One of the things that is creeping into the business and you you get nowadays is you walk on to a stage and there is clicking, taking pictures of you.
“You can find yourself on videos of YouTube before you even get back home. I don’t get, and I am not the only performer who feels this way, I don’t get the same feeling with the audience, that vibe, the pump, the rhytym of great music. That is leaving because everybody wants a video.
“Who would want to go to Wimbledon and video the thing when I could watch it on televison in that case. I want to see the players and feel the vibe.
We also saw her on The Real Exotic Marigold Hotel last year which has had a huge impact on her life.
Sheila added: “It was a fantastic experience, I don’t think I would have gone to India if it wasn’t for that programme. It’s still hanging with me, everywhere I go now, people are asking did you marry that guy, did you buy that flat.
“You will see in the future, there are more dates to come.
“So many people saw that show, it’s just amazing.”
To book tickets call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk